Mars Hill Must Finish the Process

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325 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    I think we have already seen that what you have described above, is not going to happen. He is already embraced by other leaders and is back in action. I’m guessing by the new year he will be opening up shop somewhere.

  2. Michael says:


    You’re probably right.
    It’s an opportunity for us to look at and think through the process and that may have some value sometime in the future.

  3. “This means that Driscoll is to be considered out of fellowship with the entire church and he is refused access to both the community and the sacraments.”

    Even if it did happen, how do you get the word out? Do you take out newspaper ads, infomercials? How is the ‘entire’ church to know? I don’t think my church knows.

  4. Michael says:

    Your church probably wouldn’t be interested in having him grace the pulpit…
    Those who would would know.

  5. Daniel says:

    Michael, the problem for me in this is that for as much as I question MD, I also have zero confidence in the remaining “elders.” This is just playing out like a bad soap opera. To me, MD and the elders are really in the same boat, so I can’t get too excited about them calling him to repentance. I half expect that they’ll soon all be reunited at MD’s new “church.”

  6. Xenia says:

    The phrase “entire church” is problematic because the “entire Church” is not unified in any way that could implement any kind of discipline. If he came to my parish, for example, none of the stuff he did while at Mars Hill and whatever his elders had to say about it would carry any weight. I suspect this would be true of most churches. If he wanted to be in communion with us he’d have to undergo some kind of catechism and would have to confess all his sins and repent of them but as far as sending him back to Mars Hill to participate in a course of church discipline- would never happen. It wouldn’t happen in most churches.

    I realize most folks here are dead set against any kind of church unity where such discipline could take place but you can see there are certain advantages. If my priest went off the rails and resigned (or was fired), he could not set up shop in a new parish. He could try, but he would be labeled schismatic and no Orthodox Christians would be allowed to attend his upstart church, not of they wanted to remain in good standing with their own church.

    Remember David Hocking, how he was welcomed with open arms by CS despite what his former church thought needed to happen.

    So the phrase “the church” is someone meaningless in this context.

  7. Michael says:


    I understand that…but they could begin to rebuild confidence by fulfilling their duties according to Scripture.

  8. Xenia says:

    In fact, the ecclesiology that caused this problem in the first place is the same ecclesiology that will prevent it from reaching a godly conclusion.

  9. Xenia says:

    “someone” should read “somewhat.”

  10. Michael says:


    Excellent points…unfortunately true. 🙂

  11. Michael @4
    Interesting – so is the ban just from the pulpit? I think I am with Daniel and Xenia
    Daniel because I don’t know if this board is clean enough to do it’s work properly and with Xenia – we need to do our own evaluation as to who qualifies to approach the table.

    But I do 100% support them banning him from their church and warning anyone who would listen.

  12. Xenia says:

    You might ask how a new person in town, for example, would know if the Orthodox-looking church in town is in schism or not? You ask the priest “Who is your bishop?” If the bishop is not an authentic Orthodox bishop (lists of genuine EO bishops are available everywhere) then you know he has opened up his own Popsicle stand and is almost certainly someone who was kicked out of Ortholandia for heresy or moral failing.

  13. Xenia says:

    (or is a part of a larger schismatic group that has been excommunicated as a whole, for various reason.)

  14. Alex says:

    Michael, you know what you posted is simply not true in reality. There is no “church” universal with the ability to do what you stated…you’ve even argued this yourself many times when it comes to Calvary Chapel…defending your CC pastor allies for not doing “proper church discipline” to Grenier and others b/c they are “all independent and have their own churches to worry about” etc.

    This is partly why I continue to critique you…you often example a competing narrative.

  15. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, but you are saying that such pseudo, schism Orthodox-like churches exist. So really no different than the CC pastor who is booted and sets up a non-CC popsicle stand down the street. Your ecclesiology makes no different and as always, the people who wish to attend a church are wise to inquire a little about the background of the church and its pastor/priest

  16. We have that issue also of rogue church breakaways – they are called the ELCA 😉

  17. papiaslogia says:

    Mars Hill Church can post their process and findings for MD’s restoration process and thereby at least state their case. While they are not without guilt, doing the right thing now is a step in the right direction.

    It may do nothing for the Church at large, but it’s something.

    Then people can find out for themselves that MD circumvented his own process by resigning his position. If MD tries to start a new work, that may be enough for someone to ask, “Why would I want to go to a church this guy is leading, when he won’t follow his own standards?”

    If even one person avoids MD due to MHC posting their position, wouldn’t it be worth it?

  18. Michael says:


    I’m aware that this is probably not going to be exercised in reality.
    It should be.
    Because we haven’t got it right before, doesn’t mean we should quit trying.
    The crucial element here to me is that the elders of the local church reached a conclusion and that conclusion should be followed out and then respected.
    It wasn’t any outside agency…it was done in house as biblically prescribed.
    While there is not a “church universal and undivided”, the groups who have been in fellowship with Driscoll in the past would be aware of the excommunication and can and should be called out for short circuiting the process if it is rendered by those elders.

  19. Xenia says:

    No Steve. This is America and anyone can start up anything they want and call it an Orthodox Church. I could call my living room a Calvary Chapel and who could prevent it.

    Rather than hiring a detective agency to find out the particulars about the new pastor in town, all I have to do is look on the internet to identify a priest’s bishop is and if his bishop is on the list (big listing covering the entire world) then I know that he is in communion with the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy and not a heretic of some kind.

    Of course fake “Orthodox” churches exist but we have a very simple way of finding out who they are.

  20. Alex says:

    Michael, fellow “Affiliated Calvary Chapel Pastors” who claim Chuck Smith as their head and “fellowship” at annual fellow CC “Pastor’s” conferences are just as much “co-elders” of the Church Group that self-coalesces and calls itself collectively: “Calvary Chapel”

    You argue for some sort of cohesive church discipline toward Driscoll (Acts 29 and Mars HIll is similar to CC construct)…then you defend your CC pastor allies and their inaction in church discipline.

    You are inconsistent.

  21. Alex says:

    I’m sure I’ll be piled on for speaking truth on here and pointing out your glaring error, which is unfortunate and telling of this blog as still struggling to be intellectually honest and a safe place for voicing intellectually honest dissent.

  22. Michael says:


    The problem is that none of those “affiliated” pastors have any authority over any other pastor.
    The local elders do.
    When a group of local elders takes action, that action must be respected and recognized.

  23. Alex says:

    No, that is incorrect and not biblical. And, as you stated earlier in the thread, “Because we haven’t got it right before, doesn’t mean we should quit trying.”

  24. Alex says:

    It would be really easy for a Group of CC pastors who are co-Affiliated with Grenier to review the evidence against him and publicly rebuke him and mete out some church discipline…and then shun him as you prescribe above unless or until he repents. They could easily publicly state they do not recommend his CC franchise and find him to be in sin and could lobby the CC “Association” to revoke his membership and invite to the annual pastor’s conference.

    Your CC pastor allies won’t do this and you won’t hold them to task…yet this is essentially the medicine you are prescribing for Driscoll.

  25. Michael says:


    Biblically, the local elders bear the primary responsibility for church discipline.
    In independent groups such as the Southern Baptists and Calvary Chapel, they are the only ones with the authority to level and enforce it.
    The argument can and has been made that there should be central oversight as well…but at this point there isn’t any and that responsibility falls solely on the elders.

  26. Steve Wright says:

    Rather than hiring a detective agency to find out the particulars about the new pastor in town, all I have to do is look on the internet to identify a priest’s bishop is and if his bishop is on the list (big listing covering the entire world
    Yeah..just like CC has a list on the internet and one can see your living room church is not a CC. No detective agency needed

    Not a bit of difference. A point I have tried to make repeatedly as ecclesiology is blamed for what is the sin and rebellion of individual people – no matter their denomination, affiliation, or tribe

    It is America as you said…your ecclesiology matters not a whit in this case. People can follow the schism priest to his new place (in the name of grace or he got a raw deal or in agreement that his bad teaching is actually not bad). And people off the street can come on in if they so desire and worship at an Orthodox-like church.

  27. Alex says:

    1 Timothy 5:19-22King James Version (KJV)

    19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

    20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

    21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

    22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

    No, “elders” are by Region/City in the NT. Calvary Chapel is akin to “The Church at Ephesus” etc. All CC pastors are the “church at Calvary Chapel”

    You are disagreeing with the bible you profess as the standard and imposing your own modern day construct onto the text of scripture.


  28. Xenia says:

    It is America as you said…your ecclesiology matters not a whit in this case.<<<

    It does matter, to us.

    CC's affiliate list is a good thing, I grant you that. If there's a new church in town calling itself a Calvary Chapel and is not on that list, you can be suspicious.

    But what about a completely independent church that isn't affiliated with anyone? What list do you consult? How do you know this guy wasn't kicked out of a previous church for bad moral conduct or heresy? If he's famous, you can probably dig up some internet dirt but what if he's a nobody?

  29. Anne says:

    Michael/Alex: from my cheap seats the disconnect is the lack of peers calling dudes like BG and others on the carpet to their face and then publically denouncing them from the pulpit if they reject repentance and restoration process. Mr. Coy is getting as much a pass from some of his CC peers and Mr. Driscoll is from his. And the lack of transparency with their respective “flocks” is a huge issue. I think this is the inconsistency/consistency Alex may be referring to. As always, I may be wrong…

    Steve: I respect that you are a whole cut above many of your peers in many things. Believing you are truly striving to be a servant leader to those under your care. However your stark insistence that the differences in ecclesiology is not a factor, and the way you are going about defending it seems a bit like protesting that no other way of approaching these issues is better than or as good as those of your own tribe. May be my own addled brain misinterpreting and I apologise if that is more of the case than your delivery of your position. Ecclesiology may not matter in the short run of keeping folks from following after fools & wolves, but it is a huge factor in how groups handle problems with leadership within their own ranks. IMO of course 😉

  30. Michael says:


    That definition of elder was applicable when there was only one Christian church in a town. As the church grew, the instruction was to go and appoint elders in the churches that came from the growth of the movement, as there would be multiple churches in a region and the local elders were to care for them.
    Later, bishops were established over regions.
    That’s probably the model I would consider “biblical”.

    Having said that, there is no doubt that the inaction of CC on this issue has been both negligent and shameful.
    My hope is that when the leadership issues are settled at the top that it gets addressed.
    The problem here is that even if the actions you proposed were taken, the only “discipline” is the removal of his name from a database.
    Because the name “Calvary Chapel” wasn’t copywrited until 1999, he wouldn’t even have to change his name…the people in Visalia may not even know it happened.
    However, if the local elders would exercise their responsibility…which is to tell it to the church and do the proper discipline upon finding of fault…that would have a real impact.

  31. Bob says:

    “To stop short of excommunication at this stage is to make a mockery of the process already completed.

    What does it mean to treat someone as a Gentile and a tax collector?”

    I think to be excommunicated from an independent church he admittedly started because he didn’t like the other churches speaks a lot about the chance of this happening. Now if you’re speaking of Christians in general and universal I think it will be a cold day in Hell before that will ever happen.

    In the First Century a Gentile is one who worships false gods. It is not just one outside the faith, those are Greeks.

    A Tax Collector is one who works for the Roman Government and robs from the people.

    So does Mark D. worship false gods? I kind of feel him and many “mega” pastors do rob from the sheep. Maybe that are all Tax Collectors?

    PS. Michael I get what you are saying, just pointing out the actual absurdity of it happening.

    It is a wonderful fall day in the mid-west today!

  32. That’s why congregation members should rule. Bring the guy out of the pulpit to the back yard of the church and tar and feather him and send him on his way – the newspapers will spread the story of his excommunication.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, to repeat, I only point out that your putting the blame on ecclesiology for what is happening in these evangelical scandals at Mars Hill and CCCM is wrong.

    I found a website that seems to have taken great care to list (with links to websites when they exist) all the orthodox schism churches in America – and there are a whole bunch of them. And since these are churches, one assumes each name listed represents at least a dozen or so worshippers and most likely a larger number.

    Your last question is not relevant to my point, because you challenged MY tradition – so I dealt with yours. But to go ahead and answer anyways, most nobodies who are defrocked aren’t going to quickly build a new church and attract a large crowd – and while I think your ‘detective agency’ comment was a little much, anyone who goes to the First Church of the Nobody and does not care that the pastor has no affiliation, no ordination, no education, well that is their issue.

    But you see, even your question brings me to my ultimate belief. God guides His sheep. God’s born again children are not going to be guided (and stay) at the Frist Church of the Nobody if they indeed are seeking the Lord and receiving nothing but abuse and misery. Likewise, I believe God led you (and MLD) to your evangelical churches and then led you out of them. You were not somehow deaf to the voice of God, nor were you in open rebellion to Him when you spent 50 years there.

    So just because you have moved on and do not believe the same as you once did, does not negate the tremendous good for the Body of Christ of churches from different backgrounds than yours. The Body of Christ is diverse. Yes, we all think our churches have it right, but the tenor of this blog has always been that we do not shun as unbelievers those from other traditions. And the moment a system of church government is blamed for the sins of the people and leaders within it, is the moment we insult a whole lot of faithful brothers and sisters in the Lord – not guilty (and also disgusted) by those leadership sins.


  34. Bob says:

    “Your CC pastor allies won’t do this and you won’t hold them to task…yet this is essentially the medicine you are prescribing for Driscoll.”

    Alex it’s hard for me to keep up sometimes, but is there a double standard here amongst many?

    It seems many want a system to smack the pastor but when it comes to personal approval of subjects like deviant sexual behavior we sit in quite approval. Where I am going is this; do the fellow CC pastors you mention not do what you think they should because it might come around to them someday? Could it be said many of us will not disapprove of sexual deviations of all kinds because it might limit our behavior or require us to be condemned also? Is there something in scripture saying this also?

    As you well know when we stand up for what is “right” more is demanded of us.

    The world is watching.

    And I got to go.

  35. Em says:

    “save Driscoll from his famous friends. They will become enablers of his rebellion against Christ and His church” … this is the key observation here, IMV – pray that God open MD’s eyes and replace an iron will with a spine

    long ago (and far away) I watched the elders of certain denomination rebuke their pastor and remove him from their pulpit (never underestimate the power of a predatory female – they aren’t always innocent victims)… the pastor took the rebuke, got his act back together, loved his wonderful wife, raised a wonderful family and served his denomination faithfully for the rest of his days…
    and so I believe that there is such a thing as restoration

  36. Steve Wright says:

    Steve: I respect that you are a whole cut above many of your peers in many things. Believing you are truly striving to be a servant leader to those under your care
    Thank you Anne. But I will insist the “peers” are mostly just like me, and the problems are found in the smaller minority that garner the headlines. Not the other way around. I am not the exception. I am the rule and these others are the exceptions.

    I can find some common threads to the problem pastors. But it is not some blanket ecclesiology. A big one is if these guys (especially the older generation) ever served somewhere UNDER someone (which is also a big advantage to formal education too)

    Some of these guys have never been told, no. Been told, you are wrong. Been told to do something they don’t want to do – when you have no education and you get saved and a couple years later are the pope of your own ministry – bad things are likely to result

  37. Xenia says:

    all the orthodox schism churches in America – and there are a whole bunch of them<<<

    But this proves my point. We know exactly who these schismatics are and it is easy to avoid them.

  38. Michael says:


    That’s the kind of story that I wish we could tell over and over again…

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Apparently not easy enough for all the people that keep them afloat. Or are they not saved? Apparently a lot of people in the USA want to go to an Orthodox church and could care less if it is an ORTHODOX church

  40. Xenia says:

    Steve, what do know about these groups? I know quite a bit about most them.

    Most of them are very small. Some exist only on the internet. Some are one-man operations. Some have disappeared since that web page you are referencing was written. 99 % of Orthodox Christians are members of canonical Orthodox Churches.

    There is one group that has maybe a dozen parishes and I suspect when their rebellious bishop goes to his reward, will reunite with the rest of us.

    One group of a few parishes got ticked of because the Russian Church in America reunited (that is, healed the schism) with the Russian Church in Russia.

    Why do people join these parishes? Some out of ignorance, some out of orneriness and some out of misguided (but genuine) conviction. No one is saying they aren’t “saved,” we are just saying that they have left communion with the rest of us for their own reasons. Or were asked to leave, for various reasons.

  41. I think the big question is, who has pulpit and table communion with who? CCs and most independents will share pulpit and table with just about anyone.

  42. Xenia says:

    Enough about Orthodoxy, which is not the topic of this blog post anyway. There are other churches besides the Orthodox Church that have the bishop/priest/deacon form of church government, even if they use different terminology, such as the LCMS.

  43. Steve Wright says:

    Admittedly I know nothing about them but their existence – which should not even exist if having the right ecclesiolgy was the issue that it was trumpeted to be earlier.

    I believe the claim was something like “This would not happen if there was a bishop to set things right”

    (And of course, while I recognize the difference between the bishop administration between Catholic and Orthodox, at least in the context of simply the existence of “a bishop to oversee the local churches is what is needed to stop this corruption”….well, I think recent history has shown having a bishop is meaningless if he cares more about position power and reputation of the brand than the people being hurt….again, no different than CC, Mars Hill or anyone else you care to list.

    It is always about the PEOPLE. God deals with us as individuals that are part of a community, yes, but not simply cogs. People hurt people or bless people. People serve themselves and their own sinful desires…or they serve Christ.

    Not systems.

  44. Xenia says:

    Admittedly I know nothing about them but their existence – which should not even exist if having the right ecclesiolgy was the issue that it was trumpeted to be earlier.<<<

    Steve, this doesn't make sense. Anyone can jump ship. It doesn't mean the ship is faulty.

    If I left my family because I didn't like the rules it doesn't mean t he rules are faulty.

  45. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – admittedly, despite the warnings I give prior, there may be an occasional person who takes communion that otherwise should not. I don’t personally know everyone or everything going on.

    I’ll take that tradeoff versus your deliberate, willful exclusion of every brother or sister in Christ who fails to have your membership papers.

    As far as sharing the pulpit with anyone…that’s a pretty silly statement.

  46. Xenia says:

    In fact, it is proper ecclesiology that puts many of these groups outside canonical Orthodoxy. They were properly disciplined and excommunicated, some of them. What they choose to do after that is between them and God.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    Anyone can jump ship. It doesn’t mean the ship is faulty.
    My point exactly. We have come to agreement whether you recognize it or not.

  48. Xenia says:

    No, we have not.

    But I am not going to argue about this anymore.

  49. Steve Wright says:

    They were properly disciplined and excommunicated, some of them. What they choose to do after that is between them and God.
    Again we agree completely.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Here is the fundamental point I want to make, which I am sure will step on all sorts of toes. But I will say it and move on for today.

    Xenia, MLD, and so many like them are rejoicing in the Lord as the Lord has led them to the place, through study, prayer and commitment, to where they feel the truth of what it means to be in fellowship with Christ and His Church is all about. I personally rejoice with them, even if I disagree with some aspects of their beliefs.

    However, what they rejoice in being led FROM is evangelicalism. As is seen clearly in their posts.

    Now, so many people like me also rejoice that the Lord has led us to a place where we are in fellowship with Christ and His Church. Where we have found the truth as shown us by the Lord.

    The huge difference though is we were led FROM sin, death and hell. We were lost and then found. Not already found and then transferred.

    That can’t be stated loudly enough. And that is why it can get real emotional around here when rather than blaming people for their own sins, something called evangelicalism is blamed, which is where so many of us found Christ – and all the more troubling when the complaints come from those who likewise did not find Christ or initially grow in Christ in their CURRENT denominations…but in the same dreaded “E-word”

    Now, those in my camp are often guilty of thinking, in finding such fellowship, that they alone possess the truth. But that is a combination of pride, immaturity and often bad teaching. I do not in any way deny that often in CC there has been a spirit of exclusivity and that is to our shame and it is likewise to our credit as that begins to lessen in these days. And years of walking with the Lord under good teaching can help change that mindset (as well as community on blogs like this one). As they learn the Christian church down the street is not the enemy and is to be embraced as brothers and sisters in the Lord. I sure am seeking to do my part in any platform I have whether here, Bible College, conversations, but especially from the pulpit at CCLE

    Now, when one “transfers” though from an E-church after many years, it seems the bad teaching, and immaturity excuses do not apply. That leaves pride. And pride is not love.

    I have DEFENDED my beliefs and by implication the thousands of brothers and sisters who share them – who were brought to SALVATION, not just to another church, but from death to life through the ministry of evangelical churches. Brought to Jesus. No Lutheran or Orthodox person ever witnessed to me, EVER. But a whole lot of Baptists and other evangelicals did back in the day, even when I did not yet have an ear to hear.

    Any criticisms or comments about other churches I have made here is only to show that they have the same problems as evangelicals do. The difference is they are dismissed as “schisms” or “that’s the ECLA” – but that’s why I asked if that means they are heretics where there is no salvation to be found? A lot of Christians are still in the ELCA I know from experience, and while I don’t know within Orthodox, I find it hard to believe there aren’t a few Orthodox believers choosing to worship at these schisms for their own purposes who still love the Lord and on the path to glory.

    Anecdotal evidence is boring. It matters not what other CC people have said or done, just like it matters not that I know 2 Orthodox guys that left CC circles and today are the most arrogant men you might want to come across and seem to devote any time in talking about the Lord at all to dissing on all the non-orthodox. I don’t judge Xenia or Orthodoxy as a whole by the actions of these two men.

    What matters is how we speak in this community. So a CC person was a jerk to you and thinks you aren’t really saved. So what? The CC people here don’t think that. Yet, the CC (and other evangelicals around here) are personally told that it is not Driscoll, Coy, the Smith family we should be concerned with…but the entire ecclesiology.

    I think that is not loving. And is worthy of repentance.


  51. LP says:

    I expect Driscoll to become the Tim Tebow of Evangelical Christianity – he’s not going to become a pastor, he’s going to be a professional conference speaker, author – and who knows…maybe he’ll get a job on Good Morning America too.

  52. Xenia says:

    Well, I know you said anecdotal evidence is boring, but I am going to tell you something from my own life.

    For the first 50 years of my life, I attended church regularly but “never got the victory,” to use a popular phrase. I never felt saved and never was able to overcome many sins. I continued being involved in church affairs because I believed Christianity was true but it didn’t “work” for me. I was always an outsider, wondering when things were going to click. I read my Bible over and over and went to every study, volunteered for everything, prayed the best I knew how and it never clicked. Fifty years of this. That last year as my CC continued to go verse by verse I noticed that what was being preached did not really comport well with what the scripture actually said. At the same time (and for other reasons) I fell into a dark abyss, a very dark night of the soul.

    One day, out of curiosity, almost as a tourist, I visited the neighborhood EO parish. After about five minutes inside, it clicked. The “click” I had been waiting for all my life. And a few months later after I was anointed with holy oil and fully received in the Church, I knew, for the first time in my whole life, that I really was accepted by God. It was a miracle. The before and after was real and profound.

    I sometimes wonder if my true conversion to Christianity happened on that day.

    I fully understand that Christianity “clicks” for non-Orthodox people. I am just telling you my story, which doesn’t exactly match what you wrote above. I didn’t come to Orthodoxy through prayer, study, etc. I wandered in and was grabbed by God.

  53. Anne says:

    “However, if the local elders would exercise their responsibility…which is to tell it to the church and do the proper discipline upon finding of fault…that would have a real impact.” That’s it in a nutshell, Michael!

  54. Xenia says:

    Steve, are you actually telling me that I need to repent of believing that the Moses Model of ecclesiology has produced some bad fruit?

  55. Anne says:

    Steve: The disconnect is huge though when the “good” guys don’t act according to scripture to deal with the bad apples in their own tribe. The rhetoric that each CC is independent wears thin when they profess unity in many things except when it comes down to being accountable for abuses of $$, sexual appetites, child abuse etc. That is what is hard for many of us to comprehend. And in short why I too am among the ranks of those rejoicing and grateful to no longer be connected with your tribe. While respecting/accepting that is where you at this point feel you need to be. Peace.

  56. Anne says:

    #52 Xenia, your testimony always inspires some hope in me. I’m at the point where it will have to be a “grabbed by God” thing somehow to ever get me inside any church again. I truly treasure the memories of getting to meet & visit with you. Thank you for lending your voice & wisdom to these discussions.

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    I think the reason we have this problem is because of Luther’s failed excommunication. If Fred the Wise guy had not hid him out but properly turned him over for the fricassee we wouldn’t be in this mess and then we could just go ahead and end this problem in a like fashion.

    Pyre Dread

  58. Xenia says:

    Anne, I treasure meeting you, too, and I think of you often, especially when I wear the lovely scarf you sent me!

    I am not so wise but I hope I am not too irritating.

  59. Xenia says:

    Anne, thinking back on that night…. it was the big meal after Pascha. I can even remember who was as the table with us…. Dn. Anthony, my husband, I think the Shelby’s and almost certainly your friend Patrick. I remember eating strawberries and pascha cheese….

  60. Em says:

    regarding point two above (again), which I think is a key point in Michael’s post

    Since I am not convinced that the only house of worship is an entrenched traditional church, it seems to me that there may be more to the example of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus than what we focus on… did Satan need Judas in order to find our Lord and crucify Him? doubtful…

    It seems to me that every pastor should be schooled in the Judas example. I could be wrong, don’t think so, tho… Judas real betrayal was his attempt to exploit Christ. He’d latched onto a guy with super-power, there was money to be made by affiliating with Him.

    Every successful-so-called pastor will attract these kind of men (generic). Watch out for Judas. He may not be the guy who bucks you. Evangelically speaking, in all probability he’s the guy who’s right there with you, perhaps the one who makes sure you know that he has “got your back.” The one who is giving you strokes. It seems to me.

    Long ago and far away (again), I watched another *man, who loved God and His Truth, run into a church schism dilemma and get taken down by a group of these Judas type exploiters. It was a battered and scarred Pilgrim, who lived out his days on earth carrying great sorrows…
    so it seemed to me…

    *He coincidentally came from Driscoll’s neighborhood…

  61. Em says:

    “I didn’t come to Orthodoxy through prayer, study, etc. I wandered in and was grabbed by God.”

    Xenia, I completely believe you – a tender, deeply touching observation – there is a huge difference between an emotional moment, no matter how real the feeling, and act of God upon one’s life

  62. Anne says:

    Yes, X! I also remember all the services and folks I met leading up to Pascha. Fr. John, Barbara, the Toviks and so many more. It seemed like a truly fitting way to anticipate and celebrate, if the death & resurrection of Christ is as real as is claimed.

    Such good points, Em. My observation was that “leaven” was those that questioned or disagreed with “God’s anointed” whereas as you have pointed out, it could very well be the opposite is true in some cases.

  63. Babs – Luther was properly excommunicated – completely kicked out of the church. He was not however executed. 😉

    But look, if you read Trent, the entire protestant movement has been excommunicated

  64. Jean says:

    One thing that’s been missing from the discussion of “ecclesiology” is a standard definition that everyone can work off of. People are rightly bringing up attributes (e.g., church government) of ecclesiology, but without placing these attributes in the bigger picture, we may be missing something important.

    To start with, although there are local, regional and even larger assemblies, everyone should recognize that ultimately there is only ekklesia. Our ecclesiology begins to break down when we don’t acknowledge and embrace this fundamental truth. I’ve studied a number of your websites and what I find on some of your websites are statements to the effect that “we’re the one and only *true” church.” Those statements usually include clarifying statements to the effect that other churches may be Christian despite the fact that they’re “heterodox” or practice serious doctrinal error. Even those churches that purportedly believe and/or recite the Apostle’s creed (“I believe in…the holy catholic Church”) or the Nicene Creed (“one holy catholic and apostolic Church”) don’t in practice really mean it. Does your pastor regularly pray for all the pastors and other Christian churches in your local community, that among yours and theirs souls might be saved?

    Unaffiliated churches, typically evangelical churches, don’t usually have such an explicit statement on their website. However, many of them say the same thing implicitly. “Come to our church, where God is at work and has created a community based on sound Bible teaching….” As though, God isn’t at work in the other local churches or they don’t teach the Bible soundly. Does your pastor regularly pray for all the pastors and other Christian churches in your local community, that among yours and theirs souls might be saved?

    Actually, I’ve never stepped into a CC, never heard of Chuck Smith until coming to PP, but many months ago Michael sent me a copy of the CC distinctives. Here is what Chuck Smith said:

    “I’m always amazed at how God can take simple basic elements and create such variety out of them. Basically, all of us have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears, and yet how different we all look from each other! People also have different emotional make-ups. Now, God loves everyone. He loves the highly emotional and He loves the dull and unemotional. In the same way, wanting all men to be able to relate to Him, God created a wide variety of churches. Some churches appeal to those who are very emotional in their nature while others appeal to a more staid and formal personality. God, desiring to reach and bless all kinds of people, seems to enjoy having a wide variety of churches so that everybody’s needs might be met, from the highly emotional to the very formal, and all those in between. Each of us has a part to play in God’s plan, but we all need to know where we fit in this wide spectrum. That is why it’s crucial for us to grasp what we call the Calvary Chapel distinctives. As we see what makes our fellowship unique, we will also come to better understand our position in the body of Christ.”

    That’s not a bad ecclesiological statement. I think human ego and idolatry get in the way for many of us who just can’t stand the thought of people who don’t believe or want to do things exactly the way we do.

  65. Jean says:

    If I was going to criticize the ecclesiology of MHC, I would start with the whole notion of satellite campuses web streaming one pastor’s sermons. That, in essence is nothing more than carnal empire building.

    You can’t tell me that in a church of that size, that men other than MD can’t be raised up to competently preach.

    The satellite campus model is a church growth model of addition, instead of multiplication.

    What kind of local community ties are developed with a satellite campus model?

    The satellite campus model is the quintessential *celebrity* pastor model.

    There are many more defects in this model, but I’ll leave it here.

  66. PP Vet says:

    Fascinating, X #52.

    For so many, the “moment” you so eloquently describe happens when they stop going to church. The community you found in the EO, they find among the unchurched.

    Sadly, they then find themselves de-affirmed by, and de-affirming, the church. Which is sad on both counts.

  67. Xenia says:

    PP Vet, never going to church was never an option, even at my most miserable. God was the only One who was going to be able to rescue me and I figured if I hung around church long enough He would eventually rescue me. Either that or I was never going to be a genuine Christian and was going to hell, which I thought was a real possibility. But I wanted to give it my best attempt and that meant continuing with church, even if I didn’t believe all they taught anymore. To turn my back on church meant throwing in the towel as far as my salvation was concerned and I was never willing to do that.

  68. Em says:

    thinking on jean’s #64… somehow confining the Body of Christ to one physical, ecclesiological camp – considering how we differ – doesn’t seem logical… could the house churches of China exist if they had to have a priest? could they worship without a dogma sanctioned and handed down from the early church fathers? would their observance of the Lord’s Supper, by whatever name, be invalid?
    thinking… thinking…

  69. EricL says:

    Fascinating topics in the comments, but I just wanted to say that I agree with Michael’s 3 points in the post. Mars Hill needs to follow through, even if Driscoll won’t cooperate.

    I would even add a reason #4: so that MHC can start on the road to becoming a healthy church. If they don’t deal with their side of the problem, they could very well repeat the same mistakes and find themselves in another abusive relationship.

  70. Q says:

    Ideologies do not all have equal value, nor do government structures, including church government and each should be allowed to be viewed critically and maybe some very critically without the need for a call to repentance.

    Some seem to take it personally.

    Calvary Chapel went outside the three main forms of church governance i.e., Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, when they went to what is now called a pastor lead or Moses Model.

    Seems with the HELP of the internet some CC are moving more towards a Presbyterian elder-run model with more accountability and transparency, but they have a long and I mean a long way to go.

    CC is in flux with some changes good and some not.

    Seems Xenia is or was pointing out some problems that arise from what she sees in the Evangelical churches and I would have to agree, church government that allows no meaningful accountability eventually leads to problems and abuse e.g., Driscoll, Coy, Smiths and many others, many should have never been in ministry!

    Don’t all these forms of government, and I left some out, have strengths and weaknesses?

    Maybe listing them with Strengths and Weaknesses with biblical support would be better?

  71. Q says:

    Or I guess we could just buy a theology book that has already done it.

  72. Xenia says:

    Q, I will take your excellent advice and instead of bickering, I will list what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of Episcopal (bishop-led) form of church government. I won’t presume to do this for the other models; their own adherents can do that for us.


    1. It’s biblical. (everyone will say this about their form, of course.)
    2. It’s historical (Read first century writer St. Ignatius of Antioch)
    3. It provides continuity with Christians throughout the centuries
    4. It protects sound doctrine
    5. It provides a way to provide vetted pastors for churches that have lost theirs
    6. It has the ability to excommunicate heretics from the entire Church, not just from one parish
    7. It ensures uniformity of doctrine and practice
    8. Accountability to someone besides one’s own self, if a pastor


    1. Can be subverted, for a time, by a good old boys cadre.

  73. Xenia says:

    I forgot strength #9: It provides a means for a rogue pastor to be defrocked and forbidden to set up shop anywhere else under the flag of the church he was ousted from.

  74. Jean says:

    Xenia #72,
    How in the Episcopal form is the soundness of doctrine handled? Is the Bishop sovereign in matters of doctrine, or is there a check and balance?

  75. Xenia says:

    Jean, the Apostolic teachings are handed down (“traditioned”) from one bishop to the next. No one is permitted to advance a novel doctrine. If anything needs to be clarified, the bishops meet in a council and work on the problem until the Lord gives the answer. (The Seven Ecumenical Councils are an example of this.)

  76. Xenia says:

    If a parish priest proves to be a heretic, his bishop has the authority to excommunicate/ laicize him. If the bishop becomes a heretic, the other bishops can force him to resign.

  77. Linda Pappas says:

    Question then a short comment:

    Who is the Church and does it matter if one is or is not affiliated when that person has been called out, found with fault, provided or offered a plan for Repentance, leading to reparation, reconciliation, and restoration.

    Why would that person going to another “body of believers” negate the necessity to still follow scripture by the rest of the Church?

    Why would it matter whether or not the Church at large knew or lacked some type of directory or data system that kept track of such renegades, particularly if they are leaders/pastors, to then excuse those that do know not to make this known among their own community of believers so that they too can let other who are In Him know.

    How many on here who are pastors have even consider calling this pastor who took MD in and rescued him from having to follow scripture to remain accountable to the Body of Believers, he once fellowshipped with and pastored.

    Does it really matter that you are not a “member” or “affiliated” with MH?

    The man is under church discipline from MH and scripture has made it quite clear what we are to do. Why are we finding reasons or excuses not to do this?

    And why haven’t CC pastors step up to the plate to hold BG to an account. To say it is not your business to do so, is not acknowledging that the Church has no walls, or denominations, or authority in calling out one who claims to be one who is in Christ.

    Does not matter if you can or cannot take the dove away from him. It does matter if you choose to fellowship with him, permit him to attend or to host a conference, go on missions trips with him, thereby giving your endorsement to him, yet failed to involve yourself in a horrendous charge that has yet to be investigated and resolve within the Church.

    By do this every CC pastor is as guilty as he who commits such wrong doing. No matter how much your own congregation may be on the right path in holding one another accountable, if that is indeed the truth, it does not excuse from doing so much more than what has been thus far concerning Alex’s situation with his Step-father, given the evidence and charges being alleged.

    Either CC’s are a Church within a greater Body of Believers, or they not. And if they are, they will like MH follow through with calling out and follow through with a disciplinary process that would be far more honoring the Lord than the shame and disgust they have repeatedly demonstrated throughout the years among those who are constantly reminded that they are “non” members and therefore have no voice except one who would trample the blood of Jesus by mocking His Word.

    Michael has brought this to the forefront to wake up the Church. Alex has reminded us that there’s an item that has been left undone. Stop making excuses and sidetracking by saying, yeah but, and well, if they were to just, or well, that’s what happens when, or that only applies when you are a member, blah, blah, blah.

    We are the Church, all who walk in Him and obey the Scriptures—plainly Michael brought to mind what these scriptures are: don’t even begin to say, well that was then, but now we are so big. Really, since when was your arm so short you could not make a phone call to gather together or to speak directly to this pastor MD has taken refuge from or this pastor who has yet been brought before a group of senior pastors and those who have accused them.

    Until then, how dare you sit at the table with such a one, and called yourself as being one who is called of Christ.

    Now I supposed some will count me as an enemy because I have spoken the truth. Yet I tell you this, if you do, you are a greater fool than any who have been called out and have jumped ship because he counted on the passivity and ignorance of those that took him in.

  78. Jean says:

    Xenia, understood, however, I assume on matters of ethics there has either been movement (e.g., slavery, corporal punishment, divorce) or entirely new teaching (e.g., in vitro fertilization, human cloning).

    I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and good will.

  79. Q says:


    It seems the MH ‘leaders’ or what ever ‘board’ they are on’ were in cahoots with Driscoll, so why should he submit to them?

    To many scoundrels.

    They should all close up shop?

  80. Jean,
    If your theology / teaching is love god, love your neighbor and preserve life and the good will of others (as taught in the 19 commandments – the ethics de jour should not matter. They are all built around certain and sure questions.

    With the advent of invitro fertilization or human cloning – how does your basic ‘ethic’ change?

  81. “19 commandments” oops, I gave it away that I have extra commandments 🙂 – should read 10 commandments

  82. Jean says:

    In my #78, I asked about both movement (I.e., change) and new teaching. In vitro fertilization and human cloning each necessitate, not a change, but a new ethic or at least a new application of an existing ethic. This then would require scriptural inquiry to answer new questions, looking for answers that must be extrapolated from scripture.

  83. fme2 says:

    We argue what should and shouldn’t be in the church…and well we should. In the meantime, thousands of Christians throughout the world answer God’s call…

    I can’t help believe that God’s Holy Spirit is capable of showing us all genuine belief, and of dealing with the likes of Mark Driscoll.

  84. Jean says:

    By the way, when I brought up in vitro fertilization, I was using it as short hand for any number of fertility treatments, each of which has its own issues and presumably would have to be evaluated on its own merits. But what they all have in common is that the technology was unheard of when the Bible was written, but they involve ethical and moral issues that God in the Bible definitely had things to say about.

  85. Jean, but your ethic is your ethic. Your ethic guides your choices in areas like invitro or cloning. Because someone invents something new, how does that change or alter your ethic.
    I believe in treating people well. Oh look what this guy invented, I guess I don’t need to treat people well now.

    Or, hey this is a great gadget – wait a minute, what are the unintended consequences of this?

    Which works on which?

  86. Jean says:

    MLD, you’ve got me on the semantics.The point of my original question was to inquire into how a Episcopal church model would pass judgment on new moral or ethical issues.

  87. Jean says:

    On the other hand, on other issues, such as slavery and corporal punishment, the ethic has changed.

  88. Andrew says:

    The CC people here don’t think that. Yet, the CC (and other evangelicals around here) are personally told that it is not Driscoll, Coy, the Smith family we should be concerned with…but the entire ecclesiology.

    Steve, Yep it is the theology. With not being satisfied with any of the 3 common forms of church government historically (Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational) CC came up with the Moses Model. With all that you have written, it seems as if you are continually going to defend this ecclesiology.

  89. Q says:

    The Denver Broncos have decided to self regulate themselves tomorrow night for the Thursday Night football game and have released the officiating crew, they believe the game will go smoother and decisions will not be bogged downed in red tape, San Diego Chargers are not as sure and feel uncomfortable in the decision, Denver Broncos have said to either go along or take the loss and vote with their feet.

    More to come.

  90. Xenia says:

    I would say that an adulterous pastor like Coy could happen in any type of church. He never would have reached the star status that he apparently achieved if he was in a bishop-governed church, but we can’t blame his wayward ways on the Moses Model. At least, I don’t.

    The other cases are entirely due to the pastor-led model. Driscoll could never have become the one-man show, “the brand,” he called it, if he had to be accountable to a bishop. The entire Smith family debacle is a direct result of of the Moses Model. When Chuck died, his bishop would have chosen a replacement pastor for CCCM. Do you consider Chuck to be a bishop? Then the other bishops would have gathered and chosen his replacement. And the Skip H. debacle was also completely attributable to the Moses Model. If Skip was accountable to a bishop he could not done the things he did, which are too tedious to recount here. Even the radio stations and other properties that are the cause of lawsuits, these things would belong to a diocese, not an individual. They would not property to be inherited and squabbled over in a most ungodly way by relatives.

  91. Q says:

    The San Diego Chargers have stated that things can get kind of rough out there and would prefer an officiating crew but cannot afford the loss, the Denver Broncos have stated they don’t believe the San Diego Chargers have servants heart.

    More to come.

  92. Q says:

    The San Diego Chargers have asked to ‘self regulate’ themselves in the future when they play the Denver Broncos at home, the Broncos have stated this will be unnecessary as they will be bringing their own officiating staff.

    The Broncos are also wondering what ‘it can get kind of rough out there’ means.

    More to come.

  93. Q says:

    The San Diego Chargers have asked for someone to come in a help in the decisions being made by the Denver Broncos but have been told they lack star power at this time.

    More to come.

  94. Q says:

    On a side note, the league is wondering if the Oakland Raiders have been tithing.

  95. Q says:

    The Denver Broncos feel they may be the victims and are seeking like minded fans.

  96. Em says:

    It seems to me – stating the obvious – that nepotism has no place in the Church, nor in our churches… it’s always for the money and power and that, by definition makes the endeavor a business, does it not?
    That said, I am pretty sure that the Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Congregationalists have their own vested interests that sneak in to the governance…
    FWIW, I don’t get the Moses Model thing – period… sounds like a pick and choose model to me…

    God keep and thank you all for making me ponder good stuff today

  97. Q says:

    CC pastor Steve Wright said –

    “Here is the fundamental point I want to make, which I am sure will step on all sorts of toes. But I will say it and move on for today.”

    Can anyone else see the irony in this, I am going to step on your toe and move on, hilarious. I think that is what Driscoll did.

  98. Steve Wright says:

    Hello Again. A couple quick followups,

    I have said many times in the past publicly on this forum (yes, when Chuck was alive) that the expression “Moses Model” was (is) stupid. I am glad it is in the trash heap presently and maybe when enough oldtimers who still cling to the expression have passed on, it will be gone forever. I have also offered my opinion on certain parts of the Distinctives (especially the crack on education being of the flesh). Ditto the trash heap comment.

    We have also had many discussions about what though actually was taught as the (quote) Moses Model. These fall on deaf ears around here and I have no desire to repeat them here once more but to say (for those who may have missed the discussion) it involves a ruling board of elders that are not ungodly yes men. A dictator sees power and control, a servant leader sees servant leadership and delegation (Moses delegated). The church then will look accordingly, just like a bishop-led church will look corrupt if the bishops are corrupt.

    We have also had many discussions that what is being called the Moses Model within CC is absolutely no different than what is actually practiced in a variety of other evangelical churches. And certainly existed before Chuck Smith got around to putting a label on it.

    We have also had many discussions about accountability procedures, with several brothers (who used to post here but have mostly moved along….I guess I am slow on the uptake sometimes) all of whom, respected here, nonetheless would be blanketed with the dirty MM label simply because they are part of CC. How many of those men have left this forum?

    How many of us tire of adulterers, money grubbers and prideful spiritual tyrants being associated with a system, and not owning their own sins. In this day and age when pastors and priests from every denomination all fall into sin…regularly. How many of us tire of bigotry, for that is all that it is. Guilt by association.

    Jean, you cite an excellent quote from Chuck there. I’m glad you liked it. Something he taught me when I was a very young Christian, maybe because I was listening…namely that the Body of Christ is large and diverse and God has a variety of churches to fit such a wide variety of people and CC is one part of that with God’s people who connect to the Lord within that sort of church. One part of the larger body. (Anyone missing THAT reality needs to repent, along with anyone who makes unwarranted judgements against other innocent brothers and sisters through the aforementioned bigotry)

    In any event, our midweek service was as packed as it has been in a long time. We had more for a Wednesday night service then the local Lutheran (Missouri Synod) church 2 blocks over has for communion on Sundays (They publish their numbers online). Of course, there isn’t an Orthodox church within 20 miles I don’t think, as they continue to really make an impact for the Kingdom in this impoverished, drug addicted city. Therefore, we decided to go ahead and praise the Lord and teach the word rather than tell them all how to find the nearest “proper” fellowship for the safety of their souls. Besides, there are too many ex-Catholics in this town to make the idea that “having a bishop puts an end to church problems” even remotely believable

    It is to the highest degree of credit one can give that our host, Michael Newnham, many years ago came to realize that there are a lot of good servant leader pastors within Calvary Chapel – despite being attacked repeatedly by CC loyalists to the guilty who can’t handle the truth about the sins and shady dealings found within our affiliation. And MIchael has shown that the guilty should be called out without indicting the innocent. Hey, that sounds a little like justice, and thus sounds a little like God.

    And to that end Michael was a motivation, or even inspiration, for many of us to not only oversee the churches we pastor with the effort to eliminate the issues that in other churches have led many to have bad experiences, but to be public in our circles of influence so those changes have a multiplying effect. I owe Michael for his past friendship when our CC was under attack, and I have on many occasions defended him and this blog when someone with just a surface knowledge made a false judgement…and will continue to do so.

    As to Driscoll, the original subject here, my advice is do not believe a single word that comes out of the mouth of an unrepentant pastor still holding onto his sin. And as we taught at church tonight in looking at Saul chasing David, repentance is more than saying one is sorry or even shedding some tears…if there is no true change of behavior and the same crud just starts up again later.


  99. Steve Wright says:

    Good timing there Q…I wrote “for today” for a reason. But hey, managed to return before the clock struck 12

  100. Steve Wright says:

    I think that is what Driscoll did.
    Yep. That is the crack analysis and comparisons that motivates a post like my #98. Glad I didn’t read it before I composed or I might have been even more snarkier than usual.

    But yet another comparison to Driscoll pretty much means my night is complete now. The bed calls.

  101. Andrew says:

    In any event, our midweek service was as packed as it has been in a long time. We had more for a Wednesday night service then the local Lutheran (Missouri Synod) church 2 blocks over has for communion on Sundays (They publish their numbers online).

    So what? Although I am just beginning to understand Lutheranism just a smidge, isn’t this just the “left handed kingdom” anyway in the 2 kingdom doctrine?

  102. Linda Pappas says:

    The overriding issue that most have regarding the Moses model is that it is one man show, being that he is the one who decides who the board members will be, often times, they do not even attend on a regular basis, but have ministries or business elsewhere. There cannot be a true representation of the congregation because on paper, they have no voice.

    Please keep in mind I had attended various CC’s for over 30 years. I am not fearful of asking any pastor a question and I have, so what I say is not unfounded or unwarranted. I am quite acquainted with the justification of using the Moses model.

    By the way, who chose Aaron to be the head priest. Moses wasn’t a priest, although he was of the Levitical tribe. Jethro was a priest of Midian and it he that told Moses to elect others to help governed them, not to be their pastor. Aaron, was chosen for this, and not by Moses. Moses was a prophet used to lead the Jews and the “stranger” out of Egypt.

    Acts 6:1-15 ESV

    Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

    And the twelve summoned the “full number of the disciples and said,”,

    “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.

    Therefore, brothers,” pick out from among you” seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

    But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

    Sorry, I just don’t see Board Member anywhere mentioned in scripture.

  103. Steve’s point is probably typical and correct. More people, and I am sure it is not just in Lake Elsinore, would rather show up for a lecture than deal a communion service where you must confront the true body and blood of our living Lord.

    But you gotta admit that CC played a huge role in trying to exterminate certain brands of Christianity. Perhaps today they are represented by a kinder and gentler persona, but CC in the 60s – 90s ravaged anyone who was not like them – and for the age group they serviced it was devastating. It was not cool to be non CC.

    But at the same time many of the denominations were not prepared to defend them selves from the inside attack and they failed grow – and lost a generation of young people.

    However, today, the fastest growing group in Christianity is “Recovering Evangelicals.” I am one. 🙂

    To the fact that you were pack last night – God bless your venture.

  104. tbro says:

    I am late to this thread and I don’t know if Alex is still reading, but here is an observation that may be relevant. In the case of Coy and Driscoll, the elders of their respective churches have definitively moved against them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this has happened with Grenier. This constitutes a different situation. For the larger church to discipline what the local church has not disciplined, makes this non- analogous. If we respect the autonomy of the local church and the elders of the local church have not fired or received the resignation of a local pastor, on what basis does the larger church move against a pastor?

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  105. Mark says:

    Steve- as the follow up to your comments showed- you are wasting your breath. This is an anti-CC site and will never change.Remmebr that this site is populated by either those who are ignorant of CC (but think they know it all) or those who were “abused” in a CC – and will never forget it or get over it.

  106. Mark says:

    MLD- the fastest growing group in Christianity is “Recovering Evangelicals.” Actually- according to statistics Mormons are the fastest growing group ( though not Christians). But evangelical Christianity by far and away (according to facts) is the fastest growing Christian group.

  107. Xenia says:

    Of course, there isn’t an Orthodox church within 20 miles <<<<

    There is a greater chance of finding an Orthodox church in an American town than a CC:

    The number of Orthodox parishes has reached 2,370, and the Orthodox community in America consists of more than 1 million adherents…*

    It [Calvary Chapel] presents itself as a “fellowship of churches” in contrast to a denomination with over one thousand congregations worldwide.**

    *Huffington Post
    ** Wikipedia

  108. Finished says:

    You know Mark, there are things that happen in life that are very difficult to get over. I think the most difficult thing for me is to watch the abuser continue to abuse without anything happening. I’m so tired of people such as you, who tell people to just get over it!

    Pastor Brown, to answer your question, many denominations have in place measures to move against a local church that refuses to deal with abusive leadership. In many cases, these churches fail to act because of a system that has been set up by a pastor that prohibits action. And there are also times when the local church is in such disarray that they don’t know what to do. When I was in pastoral ministry, I served on a committee that was put together by the conference to act when churches could not or would not. I know that is not popular with pastors who serve at totally autonomous churches, but I would choose that system over anything that I have witnessed with systems such as CC. I have served on staff at three several CC’s over the past 20 years, and although I believe there are some good CC pastors out there, I’m still waiting to serve with one. But wait, that won’t happen, because I’ve attended my last one.

  109. Mark,
    I am not anti CC at all – I was not abused by CC and I think they are a fine fellowship. I am friends with several CC pastor.

    As for me, I had a change of theology 🙂

  110. Just want to express some thoughts randomly as I drink my coffee this fine morning:

    In very basic simplicity my own view as a Christian is what has guided me in my own church attendance.

    If I am influenced and affected in a seemingly greater love for others and the Lord after having attended church somewhere, I will return for the next service there because I like how I personally was inspired and changed.

    I call this the afterglow, the Holy Spirit upon me because I was in attendance at that particular church.

    But if I leave a church service being aware that I was only entertained by a personality, I will usually not return for the next service at that church.

    For myself and my close Christian friends the conversation is usually about who we have experienced Christ through; who was anointed in such a way that our focus was directed to the Lord.

    The manifested presence of the Holy Spirit in a church is also the major deciding factor for me personally.

    If a man is walking after the flesh and not the Holy Spirit, such as some of the men being discussed currently; it is most likely that the Holy Spirit is not backing him up.

    Therefore ordinary church goers, such as myself would choose to go elsewhere.

    Unfortunately this is not the case, because obviously the men in question have been able to draw people into their realm and build upon them.

    Pastors and ministers of the gospel message are to feed the sheep.

    Teaching them the Word of God, educating them in the things of God, not entertaining them.

    I come here because I do get taught, I do get fed by some of the folks who are here. I have grown to the point where I do intercede for those who are obviously broken and shipwrecked in their faith who come here .

    And yes I do get exposed to some of the devil’s advocates as well; but overall there are some servants of the Lord Jesus Christ here who minister to my own life in such a way that I want to keep returning.

    The men who get revealed for things not considered Christian will continue onward in their ways unless they do repent.

    Jimmy Baker repented and served the Lord on skid row ministering to the homeless.

    This place is church in a sense. People of the Lord show up here and fellowship while tossing church matters about, hashing out things for the greater good of all.

    There are indeed elders in the Lord who show up here, the Holy Spirit is evident in them to me. I am sure that you would agree with me. You know them, and keep coming back here because of them.

    I am blessed that I get exposed to these elders in Christ!

    There are also others here totally devoid of the Holy Spirit to me.

    The Holy Spirit has lifted from them as it were.

    I am not fed or taught by them; in fact they irritate me.

    But that is church, filled with all types of individuals.

    Have a blessed day in the Lord Jesus Christ, time to go to work…

  111. I will go with Xenia on the numbers if we must.
    LCMS has over 6,200 congregations and 2.4 members … even even half show up on a Sunday that is still over a million.

    LCMS is only one Lutheran body – if you gather up the other faithful Lutheran bodies (excluding the ELCA which has 5 million) you would get another million faithful, confessional Lutherans located in another 3,000 congregations.

  112. tbro says:

    @108 Thank you, Finished.

    Essentially, CC has the same measure, though it is routed by a different process than the one(s) you are referring to. CCA has two measures – appeal and disaffiliation.

    If a CC has a substantive change in its eschatology or soteriology (for example), there would be theological discussions with the pastor retooling his theology. If these discussions didn’t eventuate in a return to CC theology, Pastor So-and-So would be asked to change the name of the church he serves because it no longer is a faithful reflection of CC’s theology. So, in answer to my own question, CC does have a system in place of wielding extra-local authority. Yet this authority does not remove the pastor from his pastorate, it removes the church from the CC family of churches.

    If a pastor is found to be in moral failure and the elders of that church didn’t deal with it in righteousness, the same process would be followed – appeal and disaffiliation. Yet if the elders of a church don’t bring accusation and there has further been exoneration in the local law courts, the situation is not cut and dried. For the offended/wounded it is crystal clear, for others it is not so.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  113. Xenia says:

    Within driving distance of my house there are six Orthodox Churches.

    Within this same range, there are three Calvary Chapels.

    I am feeling a little uneasy about this whole discussion because I have made my contribution all about Orthodoxy and that was not the topic. True, problems were presented and I responded with how we do things but I overdid it. Triumphalism is unseemly no matter who does it and I am sorry I fell into that temptation.

  114. Finished says:

    “If a pastor is found to be in moral failure and the elders of that church didn’t deal with it in righteousness, the same process would be followed – appeal and disaffiliation.”

    Understood. My problem is a loose definition of moral failure. There’s more to moral failure than adultery. Abuse is also loosely defined. You’ll remove theological differences in a heartbeat, but ignore other problems. Too many chalk it up to “Blessed subtraction!” Tim, you are probably a godly pastor, but I still feel you serve in a flawed system that fails to deal with problems. And Mark, before you chime in, this same system is not confined to CC!

    Bless you Tim!

  115. Q says:

    Tim Brown,

    If a CC pastor is joining an organization with reformed eschatology and soteriology like The Gospel Coalition would that bring theological discussions to retool his theology and possibly the process of appeal and disaffiliation?

  116. tbro says:

    @114 Hi, Finished – I am a small fish in a big pond and can only speak about my experience. In the Bay Area in the last 15 years, CC pastors have been removed and have removed themselves for adultery, emotional entanglements w other than their wife, embezzlement, and abuse of power. Since CCs in the Bay Area are not mega-churches and don’t draw much extra-local attention, these deeds (abuses and corrections) go largely unnoticed (and I see no need for announcing them to a wider audience as they occur). At my age, it’s hard to think in terms of flawed systems – all I see are flawed people who take what may be a flawless system and render it flawed.

    A mistake too many make is to think about CC (or any ecclesiastical system) as monolithic. Just because Pastor Big Shot in such-and-such a place is getting away with whatever he’s getting away with, doesn’t mean that there is movement wide, systemic failure.

  117. tbro says:

    @115 Q, that’s a good question. I have heard that some CC, here-or-there, has joined TGC (no CC is ever named, though), and that TGC has allowed them to retain their CC distinctives. So, all I’ve heard has been anecdotal. I would hope that if a CC pastor wanted to join an organization that promulgated Reformed eschatology and soteriology, and that this also reflected his personal theological journey, he would have the personal integrity to change the name of his church and not masquerade as a CC.

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  118. Michael says:


    Has it dawned on you yet where I get my information?
    Paul Smith did me a big favor with his video…he confirmed the story I wrote almost a year ago that many claimed was in error.
    The reason I nailed that story was that I have a network…of CC pastors, elders, and lay people who want to clean up the movement.
    Everything I write is an inside job.
    Unlike yourself, this network acknowledges that there have been and are problems that need addressing and they trust that I will be fair and honest in reporting them.
    Are they “anti-CC”?
    The amusing and frustrating part of your rant is that I catch hell from people who think I should be even harder on CC than I am.
    The reality is that this is a movement in transition and those transitions are going to rattle a lot of people.
    As time goes on more and more of those inside people will begin to speak for themselves…just a the inside of Mars Hill did.
    They will do so on social media…just like Paul Smith did.
    This isn’t a black and while good or bad issue…I know that if Steve Wright went off the rails there is a system in place to remove him.
    He chose to integrate that system and he’s teaching his peers to do like wise.
    There are others in the system who are mini tyrants whose boards are filled with friends and family… who use their churches as ATM’s and the flock of God like cattle.
    I’m not anti-CC…I’m pro church and against corruption.

  119. Michael says:


    You are aware that there are others in the movement who have no problem at all with people in CC having those kind of relationships outside the movement, aren’t you?
    That is one of the dividing lines in the post Chuck era…

  120. Finished says:

    Thank you Tim! Good to see abuse of power on the list! Too bad that I have experienced abusiveness multiple times by pastors, with nothing being done.

    Regarding flawed systems, I understand flawed systems are a result of flawed individuals due to sin. Nothing will be perfect, but not acting because of that is a cop out.

    Oh well, as I said before I’m finished, so I’ll step out of the discussion.

  121. Kevin H says:

    So does CCA have the power to disaffiliate or not? From my understanding, there seems to be an ambiguousness with this where even the leaders of the CCA may disagree. It seemed that the CCOF before it shared a similar ambiguousness. And when has a CC pastor ever been disaffiliated for moral failure by CCA/CCOF? (And I agree with Finished that moral failure should encompass much more than just adultery.) We have heard plenty of stories here over the years of CC pastors who behaved badly yet were not removed/disciplined by their local church. Did CCA/CCOF ever do anything about any of them? Were any of them ever even given a serious investigation to determine if accusations were true or not? We have heard here before that there was a group of CC pastors who were going to disaffiliate/defrock Bob Grenier, but that obviously never happened.

    Tim, you speak of pastors having been removed in your area. Were any of the removals ever done by CCA/CCOF?

    I do personally know of one instance where a CC pastor was disaffiliated a few years ago. I have spoken of it here before. This was under CCOF, not CCA. The pastor who was disaffiliated was not removed for either moral failure or change in theology. This was stated publicly by both the pastor who was removed and the pastor who did the removing. The only reason given for removal was a change in teaching style. Again this was stated publicly by both the pastor who was removed and the pastor who did the removing. So I think this circumstance just adds into the ambiguousness of what powers the CCA (or the CCOF before it) really do have.

  122. Q says:

    Tim Brown,

    I just did a quick search on The Gospel Coalition site, I chose California and the page did not load so tried Arizona, found 2 CC without trying hard, Calvary Goodyear, Calvary Prescott. There must be many more?

    If we are back to “personal integrity” or self regulation then your #112 process of appeal and disaffiliation isn’t really the case.

  123. tbro says:

    @119 Hi, Michael – I have relationships with men outside the CC movement. I guess the ambiguity here is what you or I or they mean by ‘relationship.’

    If they mean that we can have an Alister Begg come and speak at a CC conference – great!
    If they mean we can learn how to be more effective in outreach or mission or missions – great!
    If they mean we can be tutored in exegesis, and hermeneutics, and homiletics, and church history, and even theology – great!
    If they mean we can change our eschatology and soteriology and remain CC – yikes!

    Ecclesiastical traditions exist to channel theological streams. If someone has changed their theology why not find the corresponding ecclesiastical tradition that accommodates that flow? I have read on here before, and maybe it was you who wrote it, that a Reformed body has the right to regulate the theology of its member pastors and that if a man’s theological journey leads him beyond the Reformed borders, that Reformed body has the authority to remove that man from his ministerial position. Let’s grant the same right to CC.

    If it is being suggested – whether from the top, down – that CC can accommodate Reformed theological positions and remain CC, that is a naive thought and will result in wholesale division of the movement.

  124. The only discipline that MD will face is the the marketplace. The market share will determine his discipline.

  125. Q says:

    Babylon’s Dread,

    You just threw brian a softball.

  126. Michael says:

    I’m getting ready for our podcast, so I must be brief.


    The wholesale division of the movement is a foregone conclusion, with one branch headquartered in Philly and one in Costa Mesa.

    KevinH, Q,

    The CCA is a deeply divided paper tiger with no legal authority to do anything but take a name out of the database.
    Some regionals do some discipline…but there is absolutely no uniformity at this point.

  127. Q says:

    Tim Brown,

    That is the flux CC is in I mentioned earlier, It involves church government, eschatology, and soteriology and I think it is coming from the top.

  128. tbro says:

    @121 Hi, Kevin – the leaders in my region don’t disagree about the authority to disaffiliate. Again, I can’t speak to what someone somewhere else did; I can only speak locally, for that is all I know. All of the ‘pastor removals’ I referred to in an earlier post never made it to the regional level of CC oversight because either the pastor resigned voluntarily or was fired by the elders. We had a case here locally where a pastor was in moral failure and unrepentant and the regional CCA was going to disaffiliate him only to find out that he had been just one signature away for a whole year from becoming a CC. So CCA had no standing – we couldn’t disaffiliate someone who had never been affiliated.

    @122 Hi, Q – I didn’t know you could do that – very nifty!

    I would hold judgment until I knew what it meant to join TGC. I don’t know what the ramifications and implications are. But if it did mean that these pastors were now embracing Reformed theology, I would hope they would change the name of their churches.

    I’m just trying to think logically here. Someone says, “I know longer believe what CC believes about the second coming of Christ. I know longer believe what CC believes about how a person is saved. I will not teach the Bible in the same way that CC does about these things.” If this is so, why call yourself what you are not?

  129. Michael says:


    The definition of what it means to be “Calvary Chapel” is changing in some places…thus more division.
    The pretrib rapture will be one of those dividing lines as more and more pastors question it.

  130. tbro says:

    @126 Thanks, Michael – you write:

    The wholesale division of the movement is a foregone conclusion, with one branch headquartered in Philly and one in Costa Mesa.

    Could you unpack this for me? I’ve heard this before and I asked the speakers what he meant and he didn’t know. What are the substantive differences that will eventuate in a wholesale division?

    @127 Hi, Q – it seems like your comment mirrors Michael’s. I would sure like to nail this flux down.

  131. Francisco Nunez says:

    The big kicker in the Mark Driscoll case was when M. Chandler and company (Acts 29) publicly disassociated themselves from Mars Hill. Men like Paul Tripp also gave gracious but compelling concerns regarding our brother Mark. We can’t deny, that once the A29 network and other respected outside accountability elders publicly disassociated themselves from MD, it really put the pressure on the local church elders to do something. Although the MH board could have handled the grievances more graciously and without spin, Mark ultimately did do the right thing by stepping down. Although many may not be satisfied with how he stepped down, he did not cling to an earthly pulpit throne, he did step down. There at least is now an opportunity for healing and restoration to happen at the local church.
    Agree with the above or not, we cannot deny that 2014 to date has been a humbling year and a wake up call for many of us. These step down events this year certainly serve as a sober reminder that our secret or unrepentant sins will find us out if we do not turn from them. It also sends a message to all of us who have been entrusted with serving His bride that the Lord will not be mocked. If Christ is our Lord, then we don’t have the freedom to remain unrepentant in our sins and thus remain unreconciled (Lk13:3) There are no waivers here. May by His Grace He allow us to continue to serve Him and His bride with fear and trembling. Ultimately it is Christ Who sits on the throne of His Church, not us.
    In Him

  132. Alex says:

    Mark, actually, we attend CC Boise now. I’m not “anti-CC”…I’m very much pro-CC at least how guys like Bob Caldwell run their franchise…assuming there’s a CC left after the Smith family and the CCCM Board duke it out over splitting up Chuck’s Empire.

    Mark you seem to be pro-doing-things-that-lead-to-more-abuse and anti-doing-much-about-it…..which is an unfortunate and irresponsible position to take.

    You seem to defend a League…you remind me of fans that defend the NFL…always defending the Construct…even from legit criticism that the NFL sucks for various legitimate reasons: The NFL needs to clean up player culture, hold its players accountable, promote a good culture among players and deal with the bad apples etc.

    Put me in the Camp that loves the NFL…but is also critical of the NFL for good reason.

    Same goes for Calvary Chapel: I’d love to see Calvary Chapel be a better Church Org than it is today.

    One meaningful way to help that happen is through common sense reforms like mandatory Financial Transparency and mandatory Child Protection Policies and “Senior Pastor doesn’t own everything the Board does and the Board can fire the pastor” Clause in the by-laws. That would help CC become a better Organization.

    Also, it would be great to see guys like Bob Caldwell, Ron Arbaugh and many others exercise some leadership in the CC “League” and become positive examples to emulate instead of Coy, Laurie, Ries and the typical “mega pastors”

  133. Jim says:

    Steve’s 98 was well said. Mark is apparently without a clue. The arrogance of the traditionalists here is nauseating.

  134. Q says:


    Because they want to change it!

    So much for the integrity rule.

  135. Michael says:


    I only have a minute so, I’ll have to be brief.
    The old line, hard line led by McClure and Focht will end up taking the traditional wing to Philly.
    The progressives will center in Costa Mesa.
    The vast middle will wonder what the hell just happened…

  136. tbro says:

    @129 Thanks, Michael – you write:

    The definition of what it means to be “Calvary Chapel” is changing in some places…thus more division.

    I hear this stated often, but never explained. Can you put some meat on the bones for me?

    Calvary Chapel meant this…, but now it means this…

    If someone could flesh out the previous sentence, that would move the conversation forward.

  137. tbro says:

    @135 Thanks, Michael. You write:

    The old line, hard line led by McClure and Focht will end up taking the traditional wing to Philly.
    The progressives will center in Costa Mesa.
    The vast middle will wonder what the hell just happened…

    What is the traditional wing and what is the progressive wing? What do they believe that is different that will eventuate in a split. If you could unpack ‘traditional’ and ‘progressive’ and then tease out the implications, that would be great. You have given a much more detailed statement, but an explanation would be helpful.

  138. Em says:

    #98 – Pastor Steve, that was the first comment that I read this a.m. I understand better now… Thank you and I like your elaboration comparing what it should be to historic local church organizations. Sometimes short-hand labels backfire when someone (like me) doesn’t exactly know what the label actually is intended to define. Given that, there is room for distortion of the Moses Model as most congregations would be dependent upon the integrity of the local pastor to define and implement it… but then I’m a bit tedious – someone who always seems to need to have things spelled out.

  139. Alex says:

    What is the best analogy for “Calvary Chapel” as a Construct?

    I think the closest analogy is the NFL…though some CC guys like the Amoeba better b/c then it can be whatever they want it to be depending on what there agenda is trying to accomplish at the moment.

  140. Babylon's Dread says:

    I don’t know much but some things are obvious.

    The Jesus People movement was a fatherless generation who called people papa who were not fathers. Unless Eli counts.

    In the absence of fatherhood gang leadership arises. Gangs are fatherless bands of self interested rebels who look after each other in a survival of the fittest motif.

    We live in a day in which every man does that which is right in his own eyes (read; by his own interpretation of scripture)

    Everything we feared has come upon us. Everything that Rome envisioned from a fatherless church has come to pass. The evangelical dark ages have dawned.

    Salvation is once again for sale in a harlot church that only answers to market voices.

  141. covered says:

    tbro, this place gets a bit more civil when you are here and I appreciate that.

    Alex, there are times when your words and analogies are perfect. Thanks

    Mark, you just can’t help yourself from drinking the kool-aid… I hope that you never get burned, abused or treated like an outsider. My concern is that your eyes are so fixed on a dove and a man that you may not recover. The “Get over it” mentality isn’t in the Beatitudes.

  142. papiaslogia says:

    tbro # 137 – You might consider this post as a primer to progressives and traditionalists in CC:


  143. Michael says:


    That… was pure gold.

  144. tbro says:

    @142 OK, thanks – Papias. I will get to that link. I have to study for Sunday morning, now. Now the real fun begins!

  145. Anne says:

    Wow, Dreadly one! You so eloquently expressed how I have come to see the whole cc phenomenon/ history with a nuance I have been so unable to express. thank you

  146. Michael says:


    To unpack all of that would require a pretty long article…that I probably need to write.


    The NFL analogy was more accurate under Chuck…there was a central commissioner who made all the rules and enforced them.
    Now, the commissioner is gone, there isn’t a replacement that all the teams agree on, and behind the scenes is a bitter battle over who will lead the league.

    The result will be the old NFL/AFL in reverse as the league splits into two leagues with differing styles and governance.

    That will only make sense to those as old as I am… 🙂

  147. Xenia says:

    BD really has a way with words!

  148. I think after several generations of being steadfast anti confessional and anti creedal you end up with generations not even knowing that their is something to believe.

  149. Em says:

    BD, your #140 makes me think… I was, essentially, a latchkey kid but I raised my children in a time when moms were home when the school buses let out and the dads were out there taking whatever came at them to keep a roof over the family, but “wait until your father gets home” was a valid wake-up call to a kid. I’ve watched the transition to where you say we are now and, having been a kid who came home to an empty house, I knew what was coming. Kids became a law unto themselves and the erosion has magnified. A once stable society has sunk into delusion and the end in sight doesn’t look good… It is a hackneyed prophesy now, but we do keep moving downward and, sometimes these threads do seem like the rearranging of the deck chairs on a boat with a serious leak… that said, God’s timing is indeed “impeccable.”

  150. tbro says:

    @146 Thanks, Michael. What is helpful to slow learners like myself is specificity. For example, when it comes to traditionalists and progressives, what exactly does a CC progressive believe that a CC traditionalist doesn’t believe. And how does this difference carry such volatility that a division is inevitable.

    I have heard of the East Coast/West Coast differences – but they have struck me as stylistic and not substantive. E.g., someone was talking to me about the difference between East and West Coast Calvary culture and explained that the West Coast is more into social media like Twitter, among others, and that East Coast CC culture eschews this. I hardly thought that to be a substantive difference that would erupt in a division. Anyway, thanks for the thought and time given to this.

  151. Jim says:

    “Salvation is once again for sale in a harlot church that only answers to market voices.”

    God’s people have always and will always play the harlot until His return.

    Salvation is of the Lord. As the author and finisher of our faith, He saves those who are His, regardless of who is selling what.

  152. Michael says:


    I’ll try to get something written up…

  153. Mark says:

    Just keep piling on folks. While ignoring my posts that ask about all the good CC’s- and the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS blessed by the good CCs. Covered- you are ignorant. I’ve been “burned” as you put it- both in CC and out. I “got over it”. I follow no man. I follow the Lord. CC is no more flawed than any other system. Michael- you have been reporting the imminent “foregone” conclusion split of CC for five years now- at least.

  154. Mark says:

    I am not pro abuse. That is an ignorant statement, Alex. Every CC has a board- and elders. If there’s a beef- there is a system to address it. Same as every other system in place. Do you folks honestly believe CC has more problems than SBC, or RCC, or EO? If yes, you’re the ones drinking the kool aid.

  155. Michael says:


    I’ve been reporting it because the seeds were planted and have been growing that long.
    You have other brethren here who have heard the same things…and Paul Smith affirmed my reporting, though unknowingly.

  156. Xenia says:

    Mark, the EO has problems a-plenty but not the kinds of problems we are talking about on this thread. We have other kinds of problems.

  157. Bob says:

    BD said this:

    “We live in a day in which every man does that which is right in his own eyes (read; by his own interpretation of scripture) ”

    The problem is you, and the others denominations and schisms represented here on PP all fit into this idea. You all have variations and different interpretations of the same scriptures and yet you condemn, or a least poke a finger at, those who differ. Why is that?

    we live in a day of Lawlessness, where people disregard both the written and the unwritten laws which direct humanity to love God and His creation. We don’t do as the Lutherans suggest to know and use the Law to see ourselves, let alone attempt to live by them. We only want those things which benefit our personal bubble and often so at a great cost to others.

    Mark D’s sin is his church was always about him and how many other preachers of the faith might fit into the same mold? Why did you BD start your church? By what revelation oor calling of God did you decide you had a message for others hear? I daily ask myself the same question and I don’t always find a pretty answer.

    Someone on PP once said this, “I wouldn’t believe what I do unless I thought my interpretation was right!” Truly an honest man.

  158. Michael says:

    The issue isn’t about the numerical count of issues.
    It’s about the processes in place to deal with whatever issues arise.
    I have no doubt whatsoever that independent groups like CC and the IFB have more issues than denominational churches…because there are fewer checks and balances to address them.

  159. Mark says:

    Michael said: There are others in the system who are mini tyrants whose boards are filled with friends and family… who use their churches as ATM’s and the flock of God like cattle.

    As Steve has stated eloquently- this is a people problem- not a CC problem. “Clean up the movement” – “Impose mandatory provisions”. You remain blind to the concept of local autonomy. The local church cleans up the local church. Not some Heirarchal overlord. That is one of the distinctives of CC that people love.

  160. Michael says:


    It’s a CC problem if those rogues are flying the dove.
    The local autonomy line has been crossed many times by CC with CCOF, the CCA, and regionals for both theological and moral issues… so that assertion just doesn’t fly.

  161. covered says:

    Mark, don’t you think that it’s strange that your position here is rarely (if ever), to defend those who have been damaged by your tribe? You are without a doubt the biggest CC cheerleader on this blog. It just seems so weird that you are not a pastor or a leader yet you defend your religion to the bitter end.

    Yes, I may be ignorant but my God is the Creator of the universe and not the creator of CC.

  162. Michael says:

    Telling people who have been truly hurt in a given situation to “get over it” without addressing the root and cause of what wounded them is abusive in itself.
    It protects the abusive and marginalizes the abused.
    It’s evil.

  163. Bob says:

    Confront the “true body and blood of our living Lord” in these, His very words:

    “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when…”

    It’s all through the scriptures!

  164. Finished says:


    You are clueless! Let me tell you that all CC’s do not have a system in place to address grievances!

    Oh wait, there is “Blessed subtraction”.

  165. Michael says:

    Steve Wright is CC to the core.
    Steve and I are friends…true friends in that we’ve been through some wars together and our friendship has come out intact.
    He knows, and many other CC pastors know that I’m not simply “anti-CC’.
    I’m anti- spiritual abuse.
    Steve and others took from this blog and the leading of the Spirit the things that needed to be addressed and addressed them.
    I would commend his church to anyone who asked.
    The objective here isn’t to just rip on CC or Mars Hill or any other group.
    It’s to give voice to those who have been hurt that these groups can make changes that allow them to represent Christ to the world better and truer than before.
    Sometimes that’s going to be messy and emotional and maybe even sinful as people work through these things.
    Life is like that…we’re trying to keep it as civil and centered as possible, but…it’s not always possible.
    We’ll keep trying anyway.

  166. j2theperson says:

    1 quick factual comment re: Steve’s #98 comment. The following website indicates that there are several Orthodox churches, chapels, and missions within 20 miles of Lake Elsinore, CA, as well as quite a few more within 30 miles.

  167. Mark says:

    As another shared here-the Holy Spirit is active and vibrant in the church. I do not entertain the notion that the Holy Spirit would move mightily in a church run by a mini-tyrant who treats the flock of God like cattle.

  168. Jean says:

    There are several sub-threads to this thread, but one such sub-thread that Bob (#163) just enhanced was on BD’s true observation:

    “We live in a day in which every man does that which is right in his own eyes (read; by his own interpretation of scripture)”

    Only, as Bob illustrated, it’s actually worse than that; it’s also a day in which every man/woman (or movement) picks and chooses among the verses in scripture he/she wishes to even take authority from.

  169. Michael says:


    The Holy Spirit only works through “anointed” preachers and not through His word?
    Are you serious?
    The Holy Spirit works as He will and even sometimes through tyrants…

  170. Mark says:

    “Telling people who have been truly hurt in a given situation to “get over it” without addressing the root and cause of what wounded them is abusive in itself.
    It protects the abusive and marginalizes the abused.
    It’s evil.”

    Michael- you know more about me than most on this blog. You should understand why I feel the way I do. Paul says:”one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I refuse to allow myself to remain a victim. To call me evil is hurtful- and I dont expect it from the host of this blog

  171. Kevin H says:

    “I do not entertain the notion that the Holy Spirit would move mightily in a church run by a mini-tyrant who treats the flock of God like cattle.”

    I contend the argument can be made that this very thing happened with the man for which this article was originally written about. Mark Driscoll has been shown to be such a man as described, if not even worse. Yet it can be argued that God used him to preach the gospel and see many people come to faith in one of the least churched areas in the whole country.

    So because Driscoll was so “successful” in this manner, do we then just give him a free pass on all of his abuses?

  172. Mark says:

    Michael- you are twisting my words. I said “move mightily” (should have added “consistently”)I believe the Bible is clear that your sin will find you out. That sin in the camp will be exposed. In the sense I was referring- discerning saints will recognize a “mini-tyrant”. He will b exposed at some point.

    My whole point- which is ignored- is that the focus on CC here on the blog is disproportionate to the amount of trouble within CC

  173. Mark says:

    Driscoll has been exposed. The system worked.

  174. Alex says:

    I don’t think Mark is “evil”…no more or less than anyone else…I just think he’s wrong in some areas.

    There are many ways to do “I refuse to allow myself to be a victim”….one of the best ways is to confront the abuse and the abuser instead of ignoring it and being a victim for Jesus and simply taking the abuse and allowing it to continue.

  175. Michael says:


    I didn’t call you personally evil.
    I do believe that attitude is.

  176. Alex says:

    Mark said, “My whole point- which is ignored- is that the focus on CC here on the blog is disproportionate to the amount of trouble within CC”

    I strongly disagree…especially in light of the origins of this blog.

    It’s like expecting a blog that started as a result of health consequences of obesity and high calorie processed food that focused on McDonald’s…to suddenly never mention McDonald’s again.

    In my opinion, the blog has been extremely watered down from its original Calling and Mission.

  177. Michael says:


    The system did not work!
    What brought Driscoll down was the fact that social media got on the story, insiders began to speak, people started listening, and most importantly of all…the people stopped giving and attending.
    It was forced upon them, not initiated by them.

  178. Mark says:

    Michael- didnt Driscoll’s board remove him?

  179. Mark says:

    Didnt Driscoll’s elders expose him?

  180. Alex says:

    ^^^ Very much agree with Michael on that point…that is the fact of the matter.

    Without the bloggers and New Era people sharing information…Driscoll would have continued unchecked and gotten worse and worse.

  181. Michael says:


    This should have been done seven or eight years ago.
    I repeat…it was forced upon them.

  182. Michael says:

    Driscoll was exposed by social media, former elders and pastors, and wounded congregants.

    Without the blogs that carried all this information, he would still be in power.

  183. Michael says:

    It took all of those factors working together…because the “system” had failed all of the above and the “system” refused to do what they were biblically supposed to do.

    That’s a fact.

  184. Michael says:

    Because the “system” has failed to take biblical responsibility so often it gives birth to Throckmorton and Wenatchee and the PhxP and Calvary Chapel Abuse.

    The day the “systems” work we all find something else to write about or just go away.

    I’d rather write cat parables…

  185. Once the crap going on in churches is exposed to normal people (non-church members) that crap hits the fan. You gotta ask “why is that”?

    I think the answer is pretty simple.
    These churches only thrive when there is fear and intimidation.

    They are cultic in their oppression of their members.
    They may have a profession of devotion to The Risen Jesus but they are centered on the personality of the person in the pulpit.

    Freethinking people of mainstream faith (non-evangelicals) who question their own so called “anointed” leader(s) and refuse to put them on pedestals rarely get sucked into these high finance personality cults.

    Glad I left that facet of christianity for a more sane practice of my faith.

  186. Kevin H says:

    Mark, this blog wasn’t created to “sing the praises” of CC. It was created because there were (and still are) abuses and corruption happening within CC for which there was no mechanism to deal with them for those who were being hurt and wronged. It has evolved and expanded over the years so that it is not just CC-centric. Michael has had a gifting in calling out and dealing with corruption and abuse and helping those who have been abused and helping those in charge to reform to put in preventions to the corruption. I don’t believe it was God’s calling on Michael’s life to be a cheerleader. (He’d probably make a pretty ugly one anyway and would most likely have trouble finding work. 🙂 ) There are honest acknowledgments at times here of many good things within CC. But again, that’s not the focus of this blog, nor will it probably ever be. So if you want a blog that will only focus on the good things of CC, or any church for that matter, then I don’t know why you keep coming here.

  187. Michael,
    I love your cat parables

  188. Michael says:

    Thank you G!

    I like writing them…because they are intended to build people up, not tear anything down.

  189. Bob says:

    This thread is about Mark D and yes there is rabbit trails and drift so I will try to stay on subject.

    What I find interesting about the Mark D saga, and all that are similar, is the very people who are condemning him today were also the very people who were drawn to his style and preaching. Mark didn’t get to where he is today without his disciples and yet they are throwing him under the bus for being what they wanted in the beginning.

    Over the years of following Mark’s saga the last thing I would ever attribute to him was dishonesty. He is what he is and has never once hidden the abusive self-centered nature that is his. Years ago I was shocked about the tings he said publicly about his and his wife’s sex life. I would never sit under a man who would embarrass and defame his wife in such a manner. Yet today, for many, it seems as a surprise that Mark is the kind of man he is.

    I think this saga tells the participants and viewers more about who they are than how “bad” Mark is.

    The mockery here is those who wanted a Mark D or thought they could share in his glory, vision or even to change him, now want to see him disciplined for what he clearly is and was from the beginning.

    Is this a good thing? Maybe.

    What does Mark need to repent of? Of being a controlling, egotistic, self-centered, money grabbing, gospel marketing preacher? Probably, but maybe those who are calling (from his church) for his rear end also need to repent of wanting a Mark D in the first place.

    Grace is easy, living life in His presence isn’t.

  190. Michael says:


    I am a cheerleader…though I don’t have the legs for it. 🙂
    The purpose is to see these groups make changes we can all cheer for…and see the Body of Christ as healthy as it can be.
    It’s not just to point out the negative…but to affirm the need for positive change.

  191. Q says:

    CS even made the process tougher by teaching to just fire the board.

  192. Michael says:


    The whole celebrity centered church needs to repent from it’s idolatry…

  193. Bob says:


    I appreciate the blog and the direction you have taken it over the years. People need to get fired up about subject of abuse and such.

    But I also like cats (yep a problem) and your cat stories are as important as any other.


    Beside which where else could I find an MLD to bash on a bit.

    Thank you also MLD! 🙂

  194. Kevin H says:

    Michael, I agree. Although I’ve never seen your legs. 🙂

    What I was meaning by a cheerleader would be that of someone who only ever presents a cheery picture of their source of devotion, no matter what that source was doing, good or bad things. At the worst case scenario, they would just be silent about the bad things. They wouldn’t dare ever say a negative word.

  195. Bob says:

    “The whole celebrity centered church needs to repent from it’s idolatry…”

    Since the church is by nature a group of people and since people are always looking for a Saul/king over God; Therefore I would surmise when one group repents of their sin another will come along looking for a Saul/king (celebrity).

    You are fully aware you are a celebrity on line?

    Should your bloggers also repent?

    Keep looking up!

  196. Michael says:


    Thank you much.
    What I’m doing these days is about learning and growing in the faith, in community.
    I truly believe that the more each person learns and grows, the less receptive and vulnerable they will be to these sorts of situations.
    Sometimes we’ll write about CC…when it’s newsworthy and I have something to say.
    I don’t want to be so narrowly focused that we lose sight of the larger Body of Christ and all the good and not so good stuff that we’re doing.

  197. Michael says:


    I don’t consider myself a celebrity…and my church would laugh out loud if I tried to act like one.
    My close friends and family have no idea what this is all about…they just know it takes time and often leaves me cranky.
    The stars of this blog are the commenters who take what I write and expand on it, think about it, and write it out for the rest of us.
    Judging from my email, if Xenia ever leaves us permanently, I might as well close up shop. 🙂

  198. Michael says:


    You haven’t missed anything. 🙂
    Well said on the “cheerleader” definition…

  199. Alex says:

    G said, “Freethinking people of mainstream faith (non-evangelicals) who question their own so called “anointed” leader(s) and refuse to put them on pedestals rarely get sucked into these high finance personality cults.”

    Very well stated…very accurate observation. These “freethinkers” (I consider many on here in that Camp) need to help others who get sucked into these high finance cult-of-personalities to think and to take responsibility for pushing back within these bad situations…or leaving those situation and warning others about them.

  200. Steve Wright says:

    j2 – I am always willing to admit when I am incorrect on facts. And I have never knowingly, deliberately posted a falsehood. Thank you for your correction. I used that link but the results can’t be linked (without going back to the search) and so if one puts Lake Elsinore, CA one finds the following (to clarify your “several” comment):.

    Exactly two churches came back as under 20 miles. One 14 miles way out in Temecula (so yeah, I guess I overestimated how far Temecula is from L.E. depending on where the measuring takes place but in terms of the population makeup it might as well be Irvine or La Jolla. Michael’s So Cal readers will understand.

    Please keep in mind, that this is not farm country and 20 miles (or even 14) means passing over thousands and thousands of people.

    But you are correct, and I erred. There is ONE church within a few miles of Elsinore. It did not show up when I searched a different way last night before posting (which I did search)

    I read that it opened in 2011 in a little shopping center in the neighboring town of Canyon Lake. I’m sure they are having a huge impact but as long as we are getting specific on facts, you might discover there is a world of difference between Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore – and we might also wonder how come, in Mars Hill’s fashion, a new church plant decides to rent expensive space in a wealthier community when there are loads of vacancies in Elsinore (and of course a tremendous need).

    Sounds again like not a whit of difference between how so many of those evangelical church plants get started. Namely, first, find a wealthy newly growing community that doesn’t have one of our churches. Pass over the older, dying, larger communities filled with problems only Jesus can fix.

    Because, that was pretty much the point of my referencing the area in the first place.

    Canyon Lake is 82% white, median income $68,000+, median house $298,000
    Lake Elsinore is 36% white, median income $57,000+ median house $192,000
    (and Elsinore’s stats are skewed with new development on the outskirts…our church is in the heart of old downtown)

    And of course Elsinore’s population is FIVE times larger than Canyon Lake’s and the town has been around for decades. Somehow though Canyon Lake shows up on the map and, boy, we need to get an Orthodox church planted there!

    Of course, at our church the past few weeks have been spent cleaning up the human feces, public urination, drug paraphernalia and used condoms left behind by our neighbors – I assure you the fine folks in Canyon Lake will not have to dirty their hands in such a manner at the shopping mall.

    But thank you for the clarification. And allowing me to clarify as well lest there be readers who think “two” actually does equal several and I was posting falsehood.

  201. Xenia says:

    We recently aquired a kitten- Mr. Noodles- and now I appreciate the cat stories more than I used to. Actually, I always did find myself thinking about the cat stories at odd moments through out the day.

    Keep writing them, please!

  202. Michael says:


    Thank you…I will as long as Miss Kkitty continues to provide material. 🙂

  203. Xenia says:

    I am covered with scratches.

  204. Michael says:

    “I am covered with scratches.”

    Soon you’ll be writing my Friday column for me… 🙂

  205. Xenia says:

    Steve, my parish church is next to a homeless encampment and I have personally washed human excrement off the side of the building.

    So what, are we even now?

    This is ridiculous.

  206. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, I’m sure it is – as I am sure are many orthodox parishes. I know context in these threads gets lost easily….

    I only posted a reply to the insinuation that I was not posting accurately. That in fact there were SEVERAL orthodox churches in the area here.

    And in researching that reply I find out I was in fact in error about that one newly formed church in the nice white community a few miles over.

    The bottom line is – if one wants to go to an Orthodox church in Elsinore, one can’t. You guys haven’t bothered to plant one – or if you had one in the past it folded shop. There are a few of us dreaded evangelical churches here though which you have made clear are the problem and not anyone’s solution

    At least the Lutherans do have that one tiny church down the street.

    But you can find a new Orthodox plant in the newly growing wealthy white community – which I conclude is very “evangelical” of your denomination.

  207. Xenia says:

    You guys haven’t bothered to plant a CC in my town, either, which is the cheap seats of the Monterey Peninsula. Instead, there is my Orthodox Church.

    What a pointless conversation this has degenerated into.

    I quit.

  208. Xenia says:

    I apologize to you all for participating in and encouraging this exchange.

  209. Jean says:

    “Since the church is by nature a group of people and since people are always looking for a Saul/king over God; Therefore I would surmise when one group repents of their sin another will come along looking for a Saul/king (celebrity).”

    Bob, the evangelical church model, which promotes the message as the most important service element, followed by the music, is more susceptible to your critique than some of the traditionalist church models, which do not promote the prowess of the preacher or worship leader. They’re two different models, each with pros and cons, but you’re not going to find a celebrity pastor in a RCC, EO or confessional Lutheran parish (unless, in the case of the RCC or EO, the pastor became a celebrity from being martyred).

  210. Q says:

    I don’t think Xenia even used the word evangelical on this thread.

  211. Linda Pappas says:

    BD @ 140

    Spot ON:

    They didn’t listen to the prophets either nor learn from the Jewish people.

  212. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Mark stated:

    “As Steve has stated eloquently- this is a people problem- not a CC problem. “Clean up the movement” – “Impose mandatory provisions”. You remain blind to the concept of local autonomy. The local church cleans up the local church. Not some Heirarchal overlord. That is one of the distinctives of CC that people love.”

    Yes, and it is a system that due to a lack of check and balances that leavens the Church, breeds and invite wolves in, while leading many who think they are saved are not as evident by the persistent wallowing in their sins, that is even found among the leadership/pastors.

    It is a ready made system that invites a person to gain what it is that is not theirs to have.

  213. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael @ 165

    That is as clear and as focused as one can be on concerning spiritual abuse and corruption.

    Amazing to me how people take it so personal and then claim it is attacking CC.

    When it is far more loving to speak the truth and say what is, has, and apparently will continue as long as any person refuse to understand, it is not about them, but rather it is about the processes or lack of process in place that have harmed the very people who this leadership and their supporters say that they love, or now hate because of their inability to step aside from seeing this as a personal attack.

    This type of thinking and defending serves to keep the status quo, regardless of how many may be, being harmed. And when this happens, it is never, ever about Jesus and His bride. It is about power and control.

  214. j2theperson says:

    ***I only posted a reply to the insinuation that I was not posting accurately. That in fact there were SEVERAL orthodox churches in the area here.***

    I wasn’t trying to “insinuate” anything, and I apologize if I came off sounding rude. I was typing with 1 hand while breastfeeding my daughter so I was a little terse. I don’t know anything about the demographics of Lake Elsinore and I’m in no position to discount the things you said. I was simply curious when you said there was no Orthodox presence within 20 mi of Lake Elsinore, and when I looked for myself it turned out that there were a couple Orthodox churches, a couple chapels, and a mission. I didn’t think you were trying to hide anything. I just figured you didn’t know. For what it’s worth, there’s sn Orthodox church in my town and I had no idea. I thought the nearest one was in Green Bay.

  215. Jean says:

    j2, are you saying that Orthodox make great Packers fans?

  216. j2theperson says:

    No, I knew there was an orthodox church in Green Bay. It was the only one in the area that I had ever heard about. I didn’t know there was one in Appleton.

  217. pstrmike says:

    medium house in Elsinore is only 192k? Wow, I thought it would more than that. Really hot there in the summer though…..

  218. Em says:

    lots of good reasoning here and worth a ponder, but my take aways from this thread are Xenia’s #72 and Pastor Dread’s #140

    #218 affordable housing and Pastor Steve? there is hope for Californians – head to Lake Elsinore (that’s what we used to call it)

    God keep

  219. Linda Pappas says:

    I have constantly heard throughout the course of attending CC and then afterwards about the hundreds of thousands who have come to the Lord through Calvary Chapel. I have attended the Harvest Crusades done by Greg Laurie and the stats as well. But I don’t hear is the stats of people having left Calvary Chapel. I come across people all the time. Not just of this blog or another, but in vivo.

    I have also come across more than I can count who have come into counseling over being treated badly by what have gone on behind the scenes. Initially, I thought the situation was unique. No longer.

    Added to this, I have met more people than I can count who were there at the beginning of CC. These guys and gals are at the end of their days due to drinking issues. They stopped going to Calvary Chapel long ago, due to health problems and other choices they have made to continue living a lifestyle that is adulterous, abusive, and manipulative. Nice people, as long as they are not in the mode. Totally believe they are saved, because that is what “Chuck Smith” told them. “God understands.”

    And then, there are those who left Calvary Chapel, because they simply outgrew it and by leaving, it is evident they became more mature in their walk with the Lord and towards others.

    Unfortunately, they didn’t.

    I pray for those I can remember and when God brings it to my remembrance. Some, a handful have repented and now are attending elsewhere. Most do not and most are not on the last leg of their journey.

    No one as far as I have been told have followed up these who faithfully attended—guess no one knew their names.

    So, its my guess the average time of attendance would be far shorter than those who stay. My guess is these might me those who are closer to the inner circle. The rest—newbies, or second generation of those in leadership roles. Then of course, we have those who parents sent them to CCBC and now having the baton passed down to them.

    Would love to do a research project on this to find out. Hmmm.

  220. Linda Pappas says:

    I apologize for the typos—hopefully, the reader can do what I did not.

  221. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks J2….forgive my “insinuation” comment.

    Mike – the housing numbers are really weird. There is almost like two Elsinores…around us the houses are little crackerjack boxes on tiny lots – very old, running down, impoverished.

    There are nicer homes in other areas and you would pay I am sure more than the median for those since the ones around us bring that average down a lot. You can check out zillow to see this phenomenom

  222. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s an example of a 100 year-old house a block or two from our place.

  223. Jim says:

    That house is $40K tops in my part of Florida.

  224. Babylon's Dread says:

    Bob @157

    The Reformation permitted me to think critically and to dissent, the founding of America made it possible for me to do so without much fear of retribution, the local baptist church that I pastored did the rest sending me out because I was charismatic in practice. As for condemning others I plead not guilty though I am exceedingly guilty of finger poking. Condemnation is above my pay grade if you mean actual damnation. If you mean rebuke, correction and debate then I plead a belief in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds… when people ask for doctrinal statements I give those.

    But in reality … I am guilty as charged. As for a new revelation… NOPE… I can pretty much categorize my interpretive ideas as belonging to one school or another… nothing new from me…

    I am the problem I assert… that is why I know it well. While I believe I keep myself within the bounds of orthodoxy, nevertheless there is little to stop me from otherwise.

    I am a part of the market driven church, when I fail to produce a sufficient quorum to maintain or go on then my little nondenominational brand will cease.

    But know this… I am an accountable man and I own that reality. I am not autonomous.

    Still… I gave strong words and you impale me on them. Properly so. Well said.

  225. Neo says:

    G. Your statement was excellent. Dread, yours were just as enlightened.

  226. Alex & Neo,
    We’re all in this for the long run as long as Jesus keeps us in His grasp…

    …which means we’re stuck with each other =)

  227. Andrew says:

    Steve @ 207 “At least the Lutherans do have that one tiny church down the street”

    Well said. Hope you get a chance to visit. There is a little Lutheran church near me too and when I get the chance I hope to go.

  228. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    When will Brian “The Wolf” Broderson repent?

  229. Hey SolRod,
    Would you like to list his specific sins that you think he has failed to repent of?

    Remember, you have to have 1st hand knowledge or it is just gossip.

  230. Linda Pappas says:

    For Clarification:


    1.casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true:

    “he became the subject of much local gossip”

  231. yep – that’s the one that puts you in line for hell.

  232. Linda Pappas says:

    Actually, a person does not need to have “1st hand” knowledge of a fact that has been established by evidence or first hand testimony of those involved.

    Paul didn’t when he took the church of Corinthian to task or when he stated what needed to take place with the guy who had been with his father’s wife. He had received reports.

  233. tbro says:

    @142 Papias – I read the link you provided. Thank you. It was my privilege to be at that conference. In the referenced article the general terms “old” and “new” were used without much explanation of what is ‘old’ and what is ‘new.’ If ‘new’ means ‘the willingness to learn from other streams,’ that is not remarkable and will not eventuate in a division of the movement. If ‘new’ means scuttling one or more of our theological distinctives or layering our theological distinctives with that which undermines them, there will be a dust-up.

  234. Linda, perhaps, but Paul did not idly talk about it with others – he took it directly to the church.

    But let’s just see what SolRod comes up with. He may have some info catching BB with his hand up some 5yr old’s skirt.

    I don’t think BB needs to repent of SolRod not liking him.

  235. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD I think you need to be less caustic towards him.

    Paul also had the mechanism in place to enable people to take these things to the church.

    This is not so true in many churches—as result this is why this blog and others have been created.

    I think if Solomon thinks this, he must have good reason. Curious, to know what they may be and if they are not or have not been addressed, then the CHURCH needs to know.

    I, like you have my own opinion, but it does not justify me being sarcastic towards you, or anyone else.

    Or is this just your way of silencing or bullying someone who may not agree with you. I hope not, MLD. It is not befitting for a man or woman of the Lord to do so.

  236. Linda Pappas says:

    Article on Moral Integrity by Chuck Swindoll

    Moral Integrity goes beyond sexual purity, however. I think the church as forgotten this.

    It’s a lifestyle, not just when it is convenient or when it supposed make things look good.

    Either you have it, or you don’t. It is all about the heart.

    What a person “thinketh,” so is he or she. .

  237. Q says:


    You seem like a nice guy and pretty articulate, but if you don’t understand what is going on you are part of the problem.

    Can you really say you don’t get it, wait, now I must go read my bible or study? No way you don’t stay inside CC this long and remain unaware.

    I call.

    Ignorance by choice, oh, okay.

    So you are neither progressive, or traditional, just the majority that is like what??


    It’s all so fast and confusing.

  238. Q says:


    I would like you to be my pastor except for the part where you don’t get it.

    People need more than that, in the real world.

    You might say, what world???

  239. Michael says:


    That’s where you’re dead wrong.
    Most of these guys read here to find out what’s going on because there is no information flow and much of the “official” pronouncements are half truths at best.
    You have to be relatively well connected to know even part of the picture…and if you’re outside of the OC or a couple megachurches, you’re in the dark.

  240. Michael says:

    I too, would like Solomon to tell us what Brodersen has to repent of…because I have no reason to say that he does.

  241. Michael says:

    I’ll do an article about all this next week…

  242. Tim Brown says:

    @238 Hi, Q, You write:

    You seem like a nice guy and pretty articulate, but if you don’t understand what is going on you are part of the problem.

    If I don’t understand what is going on how am I part of the problem? What is going on?
    What problem am I a part of? And how does not understanding “it” make me a party to “it”?
    If you could describe the problem, I could tell you if I am or if I am not a part of the problem – or at least if I think I’m a part of it.

    You also write that I can’t remain inside CC and remain unaware.
    Unaware of what?

    You also write: Ignorance by choice, oh, okay.

    You are right on one account – I am ignorant of what you are referring to as a “problem” and “what is going on.” You are wrong when you say it is by choice. I keep asking for a description of the problem beyond the undefined terms of traditionalists and progressives and the general terms of old and new. I am asking to be educated.

    You also write: So you are neither progressive, or traditional, just the majority that is like what??

    I don’t know what you mean by progressive or traditional or the majority. If you would define or describe or explain what you mean by these terms I will tell you where I fall.

    Thanks for your interest, Q.
    Blessings and peace to you –

    Tim Brown, Pastor
    Calvary Chapel Fremont

  243. Michael says:


    I appreciate your openness, but it’s not wise to put that information out there and I edited it out.
    Not all lurkers are harmless…

  244. Tim Brown says:


  245. Linda – you are an odd lady. SolRod said BB needed to repent. I suggested he list what BB needs to repent of or he should stand down as a gossip.

    You in quasi fashion come on and try to somehow dilute down what we all understand as the sin of gossip and then you have the nerve to tell me that I am trying to bully or silence him?

    LOL – I asked him to detail his charges … which he will not.

  246. Andrew says:

    I feel that the traditionalists and the progressives are really one in the same in many regards which is not surprising since they all call themselves CC. I think the progressives have softened a bit but underneath the covers I just see different terminology for much of the same stuff.

    New = progressive = “Non formal Chuck Smith distinctives” = CEO Model

    Old = traditionalist = “Formal Chuck Smith distinctives” = Moses Model

  247. Q says:

    Tim Brown,

    The bible, as you know, says to get understanding. It is hard to believe you are just ‘ignorant’ and I or someone else just needs explain it to you.

    I have had relationships with many CC pastors and I have not found them, how should I say this, to be very trustworthy.

    And I do not know what Michael removed from your post.

    You can’t continue to be unaware and be a pastor in CC and play ignorance, well I guess you can unless I or someone else connects the dots for you. Sure.

    If I sign this with blessings and peace and thanks for you interest…

    and gee and whiz and…whatever do I sound more loving and kind and sincere?

    neither do you.

  248. Q says:

    “Most of these guys read here to find out what’s going on because there is no information flow and much of the “official” pronouncements are half truths at best.


    Half truths from where?

    Does that coincide with my statement –

    “I have had relationships with many CC pastors and I have not found them, how should I say this, to be very trustworthy.”

    It’s there job to know.

  249. Q says:

    oops, misspelling can be useful.

    It’s Their job to know.

  250. Q says:


    That’s where you’re dead wrong.

    Seriously, dead wrong!

    No Michael, you are.

    Maybe I could throw in some other manipulation, you sound bitter and injured and hurt…

  251. E says:

    #140 @ BD. Probably one of the best and hard hitting truths ive read here in along time.

  252. E says:

    And your subtle but resprectful reference to Chuck being Eli was excellent.

  253. Linda Pappas says:


    Actually in the comment that you made to me, you then referenced Solomon by belittling his opinion and the used a graphic picture of a child being molested. Whereas, Solomon made one short statement to the affect that in his opinion, he thought BB to be a wolf and needed to repent. Now, you could have been far more civil about him when going through the side door using your comment to me to insult him.

    “But let’s just see what SolRod comes up with. He may have some info catching BB with his hand up some 5yr old’s skirt.

    I don’t think BB needs to repent of SolRod not liking him.”

    Thus this type of comment only lets readers know that you will insult them if they speak against BB.

    That is wrong to do. Not everyone is in the same camp as BB, and from what I understand it is with reasons that I hope will be exposed if it is true.

    As for me being, odd—–I guess you might see me as this way, since I don’t mirror you.

  254. Linda Pappas says:

    Andrew, @247

    As do I.

    It still all boils down to the same ole, same old defense mechanisms used, as ever, to keep the pastors united, and the Church voiceless and unprotected against those things that serve to abuse them. Sorry, until they hold BG to an account and start cleaning house among their exclusive club, they won’t get my support as men who can be trusted.

    Simply semantics, keeping the status quo. Still lacks transparency and accountability by those among them who have harmed or stood by knowing damn well, this has taken place or at minimum have been asked to step in to facilitate a process to enable the person harmed to be heard without just using information in such a way that would only serve them to cover their tracks better. That is so wicked, when this happens.

    “New = progressive = “Non formal Chuck Smith distinctives” = CEO Model

    Old = traditionalist = “Formal Chuck Smith distinctives” = Moses Model”

  255. brian says:

    The process, MD will be restored to some sort of ministry and he will make bank again. That is holy it has always been holy. I admit I struggled with that paradigm . I agree I am apostate as I hope for restoration to all involved, that basically means I worship the Devil. I get that and it is effective which always bakes it holy. Praise Jesus. We should always fear God, God is looking at taking us all out, that is quite clear in scripture. God wants the vast majority of us burning in eternal torment to prove God.s unfailing love. Basically God loves us so much he wishes to kill us as a sacrifice to himself to appease himself. of course none of that makes any sense . Looking for help on this one.

  256. Linda, why can’t I freely speak against you and SolRod as you and he wish to speak against BB?

    Look, I just ask for detail. A list of things for which he must repent. Is it any different if I should ask “When will SolRod repent? or even more directly “When will Linda Pappas repent.?

    Is it not fair if one were to ask “gee, what do they need to repent of?”

    In the mean time, I will wait for SolRod to respond to my #230 … you don’t need to respond for everyone else.

  257. I find the issue of the ‘split’ in CC to be a non issue – an absolute non starter. What group does not have opposing sides?

    When the LCMS was going through the “Issues etc.” program upheaval 6 yrs ago, it brought down the LCMS leadership at the next synodical convention and swept Matthew Harrison into office.

    My pastor very much dislikes Harrison and his team (hate is not too strong of a term, but we are Christians and not allowed to use it in mixed company). I love the new leadership and the direction it has gone. The last time I was at the pastor’s house and brought up Harrison’s name, he jokingly said “that’s OK because we hold an exorcism here when you leave.”

    But as a Church body, we march together as the church militant doing God’s work.

    Why can’t CC be allowed to do the same?

  258. Q,
    I’m with Tim – I have not been able to discipher a single clear issue. Can you be specific? Since it is so obvious to you, you should be able to list 4 or 5 things that would answer his question;

    “What problem am I a part of? And how does not understanding “it” make me a party to “it”?

  259. brian,
    “Basically God loves us so much he wishes to kill us as a sacrifice to himself to appease himself. of course none of that makes any sense . Looking for help on this one.”

    I am glad you asked for help on this. My answer -Christianity 101

    God did not and does not want to kill you / us as a sacrifice to him. He went so far to show his love that he killed his son so as to not have to kill you. Whether you see it or whether or not you like it – Jesus was put to death for you … for the forgiveness of your sin. You can’t even make him take it back.

    Done deal.

  260. Jean says:



    Speaking strictly as an outsider, the current controversy within the LCMS regarding FiveTwo, Bill Woolsey and his group of sacramental entrepreneurs appears to testing the boundaries your “marching together.” Now I don’t know how many LCMS churches are moving or have moved in the FiveTwo direction and/or away from traditional liturgical worship, but it appears to be severely troubling to many confessional Lutherans within your Synod.

    I don’t think I’ve gotten your take on the FiveTwo issue. Care to give it?

  261. tbro says:

    @248 Hi, Q. I had included my home phone number and had invited you to call me if you wanted to chat about these things. Michael thought it prudent to remove that type of personal information.

  262. Jean,
    I am running out the door – I have to go help my daughter move.

    Five Two is just the outgrowth of what was tumbled 6 yrs ago at the synodical convention. It is basically Lutherans wanting to be CC in style and substance… which is OK, just don’t call yourself Lutheran.
    The previous president had a program called Ablaze … ask the people on FB how they liked that one. 🙂

    This is a ‘been there done that’ – Five two is small and probably getting more attention than they should. I think it is a social media happening more than a reality.

  263. Jean says:

    Thanks. Have a great day. Be careful of the back, if you lift anything.

  264. Michael says:

    This thread highlights why I hate to even write about CC…when I bring forth information and try to shed some light on how the group operates I’m told that others know more and better than I do.

    There are maybe 25 people right now who understand the conflict over the future of CC…that’s about the size of the player list.
    They have done their best to keep the conflict quiet other than a few passive aggressive inferences at some conferences.

    The rank and file CC pastor in Nowhere, Oregon has no way of knowing about the conflicts because no one will talk to them about them…and if they do talk no one tells the whole truth about how divided the “leadership” is.

    People want to believe that there is a central authority that is responsible and should be accountable for directing the 1600 churches in this movement.

    Read slowly…it doesn’t exist.

    The CCA board is a badly divided, inept, and powerless paper tiger that probably won’t exist in a year.

    The common cry is to change CC…accountability and open finances etc.

    Their is no one in the movement with the authority to make such changes movement wide.

    Until we get a handle on how utterly disorganized this organization is it’s all sound and fury signifying nothing.

    What “should be” and “what is” are two different things.

    When Chuck Smith was alive he was the central and only authority…he is dead.
    He left no template, no directions, and no organization to fill the power vacuum that would exist when he left this earthly plain.

    Thus, we now have a free for all.

    My last comment will be about Brodersen.

    I’ve been critical of Brodersen in years past when I had documentation that affirmed that he was worthy of it.

    I have nothing at this moment that indicates that Brodersen is doing or has done anything wrong.

    That lawsuit is frankly one of the most shameful documents I’ve ever read and I pray that it goes to court that so that this is made clear.

    The reality that I have explicated above speaks to the critical need to deal with abuses in this brand at the local level…to hold local elders and boards accountable instead of pleading to some central authority that simply doesn’t exist today.

  265. Mark says:

    Michael. Your last posts conclusion is exactly what I have been stating all along. Yet I get called names and dismissed. CC is all about the local church. The template was built years ago. There is no need for a central authority or leadership over a loosely affiliated collection of like minded believers. There is still an affiliation process controlling the ” brand” and that is all that is needed. Local pastors local boards local elders. Same system for 40 years. But now because the founder is dead it’s called a free for all. The reason only “25” in the joke people truly know what’s going on ” at the top” is because the rest of CC -“US”- DON’T CARE. We care about the local church and local ministry not back room politics

  266. Linda Pappas says:


    You know as well as I do that you did not simply ask Solomon why he thought BB needed to repent.

    In the asking, you did so by also belittling him and so forth.

    Do you need to repent for doing so?

  267. Linda Pappas says:


    What would be the advantages of having a level of accountability in place that would enable people who have been harmed by its local CC who failed to hold those to an account that those allege claims were made to then seek assistance from other CC’s leaders outside of that local CC?

  268. Linda – the totality of my challenge to SolRod. No baiting.(you can read it at #230)

    “Hey SolRod, Would you like to list his specific sins that you think he has failed to repent of?
    Remember, you have to have 1st hand knowledge or it is just gossip.”

    Anything beyond that was in response to you. I will accept an apology should you choose to give one.

  269. Linda Pappas says:


    You are lying to yourself first of all. You used me to go through the back door to belittle him by stating the following: .

    MLD @ 235

    “But let’s just see what SolRod comes up with. He may have some info catching BB with his hand up some 5yr old’s skirt. ”

    It is a common tactic that you use, by the way. Then cry innocent by going to a former comment that you made to somehow prove that you didn’t do this.

    When you referenced him in the comment you made to me, you were speaking of him.


    I think you should apologize to him.

    In the future, please do not use me to insult and to belittle someone else. Particularly when it has to do with using as an example that which has to do with molesting children.

  270. Linda (AKA SolRod’s blog mother)

    That #236 was in response to your previous SolRod defense comments.

    But still note that your blog son has not come back on to answer the challenge.

    I think you embarrass SolRod by playing his mother. He is a big boy – for once let him speak for himself.

  271. Linda Pappas says:


    Your last comment proves out what I have tried to say to you—sad to hear that once again you have decided to strike out instead of owning the wrong that you did.

    You used me to insult him, then you insult me because I spoke the truth and then asked you not to do this again.

    Solomon is perfectly able to speak for himself.

    That is not the issue, only a distraction you have created to avoid having to come to terms with the way you bully and insult people when they don’t agree with you or when you want some attention by intentionally agitating and seeing what kind of response you can stir up.

    Very self serving and satisfying for you, but for those you target–shame on you.

  272. Mark says:

    Linda. Perhaps in some other system – like a denomination- u could take it to the bishop or the pope. But that’s not CC. if it is a criminal matter there is other recourse. If it is theological dispute or hurt feelings the individual can choose to leave just as they chose to come in the first place. I’ve always said there is plenty of choice in the church. If u don’t like the system you’re in find one u like

  273. Mark says:

    Michael wrote: People want to believe that there is a central authority that is responsible and should be accountable for directing the 1600 churches in this movement.
    What “people”? Not the vast overwhelming majority of CC attendees. Maybe the people Michael hears from in emails -representing a skewed sample IMO. Maybe the people posting here – the vast majority of which r ex-CC or never CC. I’m still confused over the “direction” needed for CC worldwide. Other than affiliation what “direction” has ever been provided in CCs history?

  274. Mark,
    What does affiliation mean? The church is not Calvary Chapel by affiliation – the attendees are not Calvary Chapel by affiliation – the only person affiliated with any kind of an organization called Calvary Chapel is the Senior pastor … this even excludes all the assistant pastors.

    You are right – centralized accountability is impossible and not sought after by anyone on the inside. It is the nature of independent churches to be in a “do not tell me what to do” environment

  275. Xenia says:

    You might be surprised as to who is paying attention to these scandals. When we were discussing the Skip H. situation here on the PPhx years ago, it turned out that all my old friends from my old CC were reading avidly because they wanted to know what was going on in the larger CC world and this blog was the only place they could get info. I doubt if they mentioned this to the pastor, who would have strongly discouraged reading here. I would not make assumption that ordinary people aren’t aware of what’s going on or that they don’t care what’s going on beyond the walls of their own fellowship.

  276. Anne says:

    Exactly Xenia! I’ve had a similar experience with friends and family. And of course, I personally didn’t go to CS or BB at CCCM. Especially when other questions I had in the past were met with a “just trust in the Lord” and “if you are uncomfortable with how God speaks through me, there’s the door” attitude. And those were little questions/concerns compared to what followed later! So thankful for this place when the pony poo really started hitting the fan w/ the Skipster, the radio stations, etc.

    A glance at the visitors map on any given day also demonstrates interest throughout the country & world that is not only centered around the CC ‘Big boy’ megachurch neighborhoods. On of the greatest benefits of the bloggers who have covered CC and MH scandals, to me is, that folks even considering attending either group now and who do their homework can choose whether to become involved with their eyes wide open.

  277. Linda Pappas says:


    I will pose the question again. Please answer this and not skate around it. Thank you.

  278. Steve Wright says:

    Linda, may I ask for a clarification on your question about the “outside the local CC accountability board”

    If the local CC has a process in place, as some of us do, to take seriously charges of pastoral misconduct, and to investigate those charges and decide what consequences, if any, are warranted, is that satisfactory to you? Yes or no.

  279. Mark says:

    Linda. I didn’t skate around anything. The local pastor is responsible for his flock. Why should he be expected to intervene with another churches problem over which he has limited or no knowledge? If the local church trusts its pastors elders and board what advantage is there for some other group to exercise influence over the local church? I see no advantage. None. There is a process in place at the local church. A disgruntled party has recourse. They also have freedom to find another church. Nobody has ever forced anyone to go to or stay at CC. you attend a church to be blessed by the Holy Spirit through the teaching of the Word which comes primarily through the SR pastor. If u cannot get past your distraction with the pastor you’re in the wrong church

  280. Linda Pappas says:


    The question is simple and to turn it back on me does not answer it, Steve.


    If the local CC has a process in place that takes each and every charge of abuse or corruption seriously, including those that involves the pastor and leadership, that objectively investigate those charges, then there would not be a need for the person (s) to appeal to others outside that local assembly.

    However, even if this was in place, there still needs to be a system of accountability that is beyond the local church. What more, those who do have a complaint should be able to designate a person of their own choosing, other than an attorney, who they trust to stand with them in enabling them to present their case or complaint. This person can be someone inside or outside that local assembly. This would then place safeguards in place that would greatly reduce the likelihood of being re-victimized and then thrown under the bus. It would certainly increase creditability, trust, and the ability to know that a person can take their issues to the church, if they are being abused by someone in the church and/or in the home.

    The only process that I have heard that a CC has in place is the Pastor and the board, and maybe elders whom the Pastor has elected. The congregation still do not have a voice in any of this —-therefore, even if it is in the bylaws that the board can deal with things, it is still a case of the fox guarding the hen house. That is not true accountability, nor does it enable a person outside of the Pastor’s circle to be fairly and objectively heard.

    Now, for the 3rd time:

    What would be the advantages of having a level of accountability in place that would enable people who have been harmed by its local CC who failed to hold those to an account that those allege claims were made, to then seek assistance from other CC’s leaders outside of that local CC?

    What are the disadvantages?

    Please answer the questions, Mark and Steve.

    Thank you.

  281. Linda Pappas says:


    The level of objectivity that is In your response is sorely lacking. Empathy and compassion are not even in the equation of what you have shared in your response concerning those that do have issues is sorely lacking in what you believe is the solution for such people .

    In the way you have explained why this would not be to the local church advantage to permit a better check and balance to be put into place, is prime for those who desire to maintain control and power at the cost of losing people who are as precious to the Lord, as they can be. The level of lack of concern that you expressed towards these fall greatly below that standard that every pastor and its leadership ought to have towards even the least of these.

    Psychologically, it is most dysfunctional and spiritually, it is sick.

    It is good for those who do attend or are thinking about attending to know that what those who have been victimized have been met with time and time again. That they were not making this up and that this type of mindset is very much in place within the CC’s.

  282. Mark says:

    Linda. U r entitled to your opinion. I answered your question. U didn’t like mt answer so u attacked my character. I laid out a very specific system available for recourse to the victim. The system of course is administered with compassion. Because I did not include those details u concluded they were absent. U want to impose your system on CC. My answer is if u want such a system find another church. There r plenty out there. We r going in circles so I’m bowing out

  283. Steve Wright says:

    Linda, it was not my intent to turn anything back on you, but to seek clarification because I did not want to assume something too early…but in your answer it seems my assumptions would have been correct.

    You don’t believe in the independence of the local church, or that it is possible to find integrity in a local church’s leadership. Period. That is your right, I assure you if every CC had what I proposed in my question, Michael would be celebrating, as would most here. But that is not enough for you.

    You want to make sure that anyone who has an accusation against leadership…for lack of a better word…wins.

    That they can keep appealing until they win, because it is not possible someone might exaggerate or be in the wrong. And it is not possible for the church leadership to actually CARE about integrity and discipline its own leadership when the leaders are wrong.

    I don’t think for a second you would be satisfied with a CC-led appeal process outside of the local CC, because when the person lost at that level you would still be talking about the old boys club protecting themselves like you talk about the fox and the hen house. Then you would likely ask what would be the harm in having the local Lutherans and Baptists and Methodists create an accountability appeals process to hear CC complaints.

    The congregation would not have a say just because an OUTSIDE accountability process existed – so now you are speaking of two different things. Which do you really want. The congregation most definitely would have a say in a local process of handling issues which you say is not good enough

    Your assumption is in your question (and why I asked for clarification before responding like this earlier) – the assumption is “its local CC who failed to hold those to an account that those allege claims were made”

    Most would have framed the question along the lines of “if the local CC failed to investigate and take seriously the charges”…because that is all anyone should want. Your assumption is pastoral guilt and coverup first…that too is your right, but it ain’t Godly or Biblical.

  284. Kevin H says:

    A lot of back and forth going on here regards accountability and investigating claims and the such whether at the local level or beyond . Seems to be some disconnects in the communication so it’s a little hard to follow exactly what everyone is trying to say. But here are my thoughts for whatever they’re worth.

    I think at the very least, it is only common sense that accountability *should* begin at the local level. After that, arguments can be made as to how much accountability and responsibility should be held beyond the local level. The problem we have here, is that history has shown that not all local Calvary Chapels have sufficient accountability measures. In some cases, it can probably be argued that there is next to nothing in regards to accountability. So what should be done about this? One argument that is being espoused here is that those who have “hurt feelings” or a “distraction” with the church and leadership should just “get over it” and move on. This is an extremely cold and cruel and unChrist-like response to those who have been harmed and abused by their church. This is no answer at all. In many of the cases we have heard here over the years, there probably was no recourse available at all for their harm and abuse to be addressed or even heard. And no documented procedure as to how and when this could happen. So then we are still left with the question as to what should be done when the local leadership refuses to allow themselves to be held to account?

    I would think the Calvary Chapel system (CCA or whatever system that would exist) should do one of two things. One, they should make it a requirement for affiliation that a church should have robust measures in place to deal with accusations of harm and abuse. This should hold not only to all new churches who are seeking affiliation, but also all current CC churches. If you want to maintain affiliation, then you would have to do this. This obviously does not exist right now. Or two, if they do not make this a requirement, then it is my opinion that they should set up a system wherein accusations of harm and abuse can be taken to a body outside of the local level who would then investigate and hold the local level leadership to account if necessary. I believe this is the fair and right thing to do if you are not willing require local leadership to have their own accountability in place. I guess CCA/CCOF has done this to a small degree in some cases in the past. But to this day, it remains ambiguous within Calvary Chapel as a whole as to what CCA can/should do. I guess one sticking point among these two options is if option one is put in place but then there are cases where those who believe they have been harmed and abused do not believe they were given a fair hearing by the local church, even if they have the “official” documentation in place. Can they then take their concerns and complaints to a higher/outside body? I won’t answer this one at the moment as I’m undecided myself. The others could argue it out.

    So those are my thoughts. At the very least, we know that in some local CC’s, harm and abuse have occurred with no recourse available to those who have been harmed and abused. And the potential still exists in some local CC’s for the same scenarios to occur. This is what Calvary Chapel needs to fix.

  285. Michael says:

    Well said KevinH.

    The reason that you’ll never see a CCA/CCOF type of organization again is that if you have authority, you also have liability.

    The disconnect in CC is that some want a central organization to police doctrine and practice, but not ethics and morals.

    If you do one, you incur liability for the other.

    A possible solution is third party mediation…but many in CC have Mark’s attitude and believe it would compromise the autonomy of the local church.

  286. Steve Wright says:

    Kevin H wisely provides an either/or…not a both/and. A both/and is worthless – unless of course people agree that when a pastor is found guilty then he too can appeal the “sentence” to his pastor friends on the outside in hopes of a reversal.

    The first part of his either/or solution is something I have been declaring on this blog for several years, namely ” they should make it a requirement for affiliation that a church should have robust measures in place to deal with accusations of harm and abuse

  287. “a church should have robust measures in place to deal with accusations of harm and abuse”

    What good does it do if no one follows the rules?

    I heard that we have pretty strong laws against rape and murder. Watching the news wrapping up the weekend, you wouldn’t know it.

  288. Linda Pappas says:


    Funny, I knew this was why you did not answer my question, but asked me a question instead. In answering your question, I also knew you might take the direction that you, rather to answer my question.

    All that you stated was entirely incorrect. But not surprise coming from a CC Pastor.

    It’s not about winning, Steve. It’s not about passing a “sentence” down upon someone.

    It is about providing check and balances when an independent local church pastor and his self assigned board members/leaders fail to do what is needed to provide a safe place for the body of Christ to be heard without being further victimized and abused.

    It’s about getting the leaven out and dealing with child and spousal abuse and sexual immorality, among other corruptible behavior and practices.

    Why are you or any other pastor in CC adversed to being able to be held accountable by your congregation using those within CC, but outside of the local church, whose pastor have not hand selected to be his board members/in other leadership type roles.

    Now, please answer my question.

    Thank you.

  289. Why does everyone else on this site understand the answers Mark and Steve have given to Linda’s questions … except Linda? Odd isn’t it?

  290. Linda Pappas says:

    Kevin H.

    Thank you—that by far more objective response than what Mark and Steve provided.

    Make sense to me!!! I heartedly agree with all that you stated.

  291. Linda Pappas says:


    What does your last comment have to do with anything other than to insult me. Please don’t answer this—I already know the direction that you will take to buy another opportunity to be offensive towards me. Please ask yourself why it is so difficult for you to love others that you don’t know. Why do you like targeting people to get a bit of your sarcasm out there to take a punch at them. Seriously, I mean how on earth can you take any amount of pleasure out of this, when you know scripture and you that this is not right to do, but you habitually do this anyway.

    Mark and Steve gave an answer. They did not answer my question, however.

    Kevin H. did. Thanks again,

  292. Jean says:

    “Why do you….”

    Maybe it was bad pizza last night. 🙂

  293. Steve Wright says:

    It’s about getting the leaven out and dealing with child and spousal abuse and sexual immorality, among other corruptible behavior and practices.
    I’ll stop you right there. If there is child and spousal abuse taking place, call the authorities. Immediately. File a report and open an investigation. Our laws make it so you don’t even have to worry about the liability of possibly being wrong, as long as you have reason to suspect it.

    As far as sexual immorality, that seems to be the one issue where the church usually boots the pastor. Sure he may set up shop down the road. But the church has done its job. If you know of adulterous pastors still in their pastoral office, by all means, name their names and churches right now on this blog.

    No, this is not about those things at all Linda. It’s about whatever you refuse to name in your “other practices” reference.

    And you feigning insult at MLD’s comments while coming hard down on others is quite the double standard.

    Frankly, this is yet another way where being an American and being a Christian runs counter on occasion. Linda is writing as an American, where everyone is allowed their day in court, and then the loser is allowed his appeal, and then the double loser is allowed yet another appeal.

    And of course, not just an American but a postmodern American which is about never being able to be told, no, or you are wrong.

    If she was writing as a Christian, where on occasion one might even have to suffer a wrong to glorify Christ, then this would be a different discussion. And to be clear, NO, the suffering I speak of now is not child or spousal abuse. See above.

  294. Linda – perhaps if you stayed out of my conversations I wouldn’t need to correct you so often. My comment at #290 was just to point out that you badger regardless of how many times YOUR question gets answered. Yes they did answer YOUR question because YOUR question was the only one asked.

    Just say you disagree and thank them for the reply.

  295. Linda Pappas says:


    I was not badgering anyone, but I have been led around the mulberry bush, while not having a simple question answered.

    Once again they did not answer my question. They asked me a question then put a spin on my answer. They still have not answer the question. But now have sought to discredit me by putting meaning upon my question which I never stated.

    As for butting into your conversation. I certainly did not. I provided the definition for the word, Gossip. You then made a comment and I counter it by saying that a person did not have to fist hand knowledge of a person doing this or that and you responded kindly regarding what I had stated about Paul, but then added to that a reference to Solomon using a graphic example of a little girl being molested.

  296. covered says:

    This is awesome! I bet that MLD can keep Linda’s feathers ruffled for at least 2 more days if not all week…

  297. Michael says:

    I had to step out…
    Please keep the conversations civil and not personal.

  298. Linda Pappas says:

    I find you most defensive on all levels, when having to answer a simple question.
    It is a question that has been posed by many who have been harmed as a result of the Moses Model construct coined and used by the CC’s.

    Church discipline is not the same as a legal court on a local, state, or federal level, nor should it be.

    Even though a person may escape being prosecuted for child abuse, including rape due to the statute of limitation, by no means does that excuse a church from not holding that person to an account within its own body of believers. What more even though there may be laws against spousal abuse it is extremely difficult to prosecute an abuser unless serious physical injuries has been done against the spouse. In addition to this, legal remedies does not seek to provide a process of repentance which leads to reconciliation, healing, and restoration.

    To take this in a direction that is totally off the topic is not achieving anything other than to try to make me appear as though I am being unreasonable and that I am confusing the legal system with that of church discipline. It is the typical way, however, that a CC Pastor does address some very serious issues that have left undone and unaddressed, thus many people, including myself, as a result of being seriously harmed due to the lack of accountability and failure of Pastors and their appointed leaders/board members have left, but with a heavy heart and being virtually, like Mark have expressed, silenced and left under the bus, traumatized and still having to deal with the fallout as a result.

    By the way there is no laws against adultery. And just because a spouse may have commit it one or even a dozen times does not mean that the automatic answer or solution should be to seek a divorce. As for CC holding anyone to an account on sexual immorality, there record doesn’t appear all that stellar.

    As for throwing in the phrase, “, where on occasion one might even have to suffer a wrong to glorify Christ, then this would be a different discussion,” is most inappropriate when we are speaking of child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual immorality, or any of the other areas that would fall within that which is mention in 1Corinthians, chapter 5.

    I too, Steve am not speaking of simple disagreements or small slights. Not in any way, shape, or form.

    I have heard it stated over and over again and I agree with this, as I have heard this myself over and over again by one pastor after another, that basically in so many words, that unless you are convicted by the law, you can pretty much do what you want to do, since it’s all covered by His grace.

    By one example after another I have seen the lack of care and compassion shown towards the much larger body of people who have been harmed while one or another CC Pastor will not even respond to letters, emails, and phone calls to be able to bring these type of things out in the opened, but instead were told that it’s not their affair, let the law handle it.
    And I have seen one man after another pick up with another “sister” who is not their wife, yet be permitted to continue in the pulpit or some other leadership role. While the wife is left on her own with her children bearing the brunt the shame, the humiliation, and the consequences of a church who failed to support her while hold he and this other person to an account and to apply church discipline in such a matter that would give warning to others, to protect the innocent, and to engage this man in such a way that would cause him to repent to make right the wrongs he perpetrated against, her, the church, and any others he engaged to enable him to do this, so that all could heal, be restored and to reconcile with those who are able to do so.

    The legal system punishes, but church discipline provides accountability, exposes evil, and enables a process that includes repentance, amends in the form of reparations/restitution (proof of repentance), reconciliation, healing, and restoration.

    One other note: Given the gravity of more serious offenses it occurs to me that most wouldn’t repent unless they were guaranteed that a police report would not be filed. But then again, there’s always that “confidentiality” clause that is in place when one wants to use it. And then again, even the more serious offenses, the court is not going to deal with it and if they did it would not have anything to do with the purpose of church discipline anyway. Now would it.

    Nevertheless, if a church is going to be able to be safe for those who are walking in Him, then the church also needs to have processes in place that enables this, while also being able to address those things that causes much harm, while working towards bringing a wolf or an one who calls themselves a Christian to an account and to repentance.

  299. Michael says:

    The only possibility here is of third party mediation.
    Even when a central organization is founded sometime in the future, it will not take any responsibility that can lead to legal liability.
    The most productive thing that I can do is educate and inform lay people of how these groups work and the need to carefully discern local leadership in any church they attend.

  300. Michael says:


    While I agree that your scenario is the ideal, I don’t know of any way outside of a state church to enforce it.
    I’ve got multiple cases on my desk right now from two mainline denominations and while the system is different, the corruption is the same.

    If there is a central agency within a denomination that deals with these sorts of issues, they also incur civil liability for them…and that’s what they are fleeing across the country.

  301. Linda Pappas says:

    LOL Covered—you lost that bet, my feathers are laying just fine, thank you.
    No ruffles here.

    I know precisely what MLD is doing and why. Unfortunately, he does not or he would no longer do what he has down to a fine art. He thinks.

  302. Michael says:

    The key takeaway from Mars Hill is that you can force resignations, but you can’t force real reform except at the very local level.
    All those churches will become independent…and they all learned how to run a church from Mark Driscoll.
    The issues will replicate, but none of those pastors have the national reputation of Driscoll and it will be more difficult to remove them.

  303. Linda Pappas says:


    I figured as much. It does present quite a quagmire, doesn’t it.

    Doesn’t give me much reason to ever attend a church again. Much to my heartache and grief.

    Curious, who is doing most of suing, the parishioners or the pastor.

  304. Linda, why get personal in this? I know why you do what you do — and it’s all Raul Ries’ fault – but I don’t bring it up..

  305. Jean says:

    Michael, Journey lost a lot of concert goers when it replaced Steve Perry. Without MD, a lot of his fans will probably move on to his next gig or the next rock star preacher. It appears to be quite a lucrative job, so I’m sure others will try to snatch the fan base.

  306. Steve Wright says:

    Linda, others here know me personally. You don’t. I am a label to you: a “CC pastor” – you have stated so many times now.

    I forgot that you have stated on these pages your support for the present CC lawsuit, for the email blasts a couple weeks ago from that Kevin Walding guy that almost none of us know etc. You have argued the merits against Michael of all people. (Note – not a personal attack, just an observation)

    Thus it really is impossible to have a true discussion about these matters. I can’t imagine too many people rooting on that despicable lawsuit, and those who are, I just can’t imagine making a connection with on any other CC-related discussion.

    For some reason, you keep claiming I am not answering your question. I don’t like to leave a thread with that perception, lest others share it, I have answered questions here on this blog for six years.

    My answer – I have a deep conviction that there is nobody on the planet that can have the level of care, concern, love and commitment for the people of the local church then the people of that local church. You may not share that conviction, and you may think I am wrong to have such a conviction. However, you will not change it, nor can you deny it.

    That is the answer to your question.

  307. Michael says:



  308. Linda Pappas says:


    I would think that if being a recognized member there would also be some agreement signed pertaining to a clear process outlined in terms of purpose and goals which all parties would agree upon. No attorneys, but representatives to support and to mediate the process to make sure all is done openly and honestly.

    They do this in other venues and quite well, I might add.

  309. Michael says:


    It is a quagmire and there is no easy solution…not that will ever actually come to pass.
    We do need to support people like Steve…I have seen his bylaws and they provide as much remedy as possible in free market American evangelicalism.
    My belief after years of doing this blog is that the very best remedy will be when people decide that their local church is worth investing the time and energy into making sure that the church is led well before they join…and then doing so afterwards as well.

  310. Michael says:


    The question becomes who would mediate?
    In the scenarios I’ve seen the mediators would be as crooked as the people being accused…
    I’ve never seen a church with the sort of procedure you’ve outlined…not that it wouldn’t be a good thing, I’ve just never seen it in any group.

  311. Linda Pappas says:


    I don’t know you and I have never attended your local church. However, being that I have attended CC’s for 30 + years, I can say to you that only once have I seen one CC have the level of compassion and care towards the greater numbers of the body. I have met far more Pastors who were cold, distant, and out of touch with the congregants instead.

    I have also know those who are or would be viewed as being in the Pastor’s inner circle who would say the complete opposite of this. Yet at the same time, they themselves do not go beyond that inner circle to recognize or to take time for those who are on the outside. So, if something does go awry, they are not going to be able to be all that objective in handling those issues that would come as a surprise to them, simply because they have not experience the disconnect.

    Myself, I have been very much on the inside. In time, I chose to sit it out while continuing to attend. I didn’t like what I saw, but couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was all about. Now, I know and yes, CC’s needs to repent and change up on the way they do things in terms of transparency, accountability, church membership, and discipline (which by the way means to correct, to redirect, to guide, and to resolve).

    At minimum, they need to educate themselves more about spousal and child abuse and the hundreds of interventions that would go far in reducing it in the church and in the home.

  312. I know i brought this up months ago when it came up, but I am still trying to figure out how you put your abuse handling policies in the church by laws? I have been the keeper of the constitution and by laws at my church for the past 4 yrs and I can imagine having a section “When the Pastor Abuses the Congregation.”

    Can anyone show me how this actually plays out? I cannot think of a more inappropriate place for such a policy.

  313. should read – and I CAN’T imagine having a section “When the Pastor Abuses the Congregation.”

  314. Linda Pappas says:


    Really? Alex has done this a few times. I have done this as well in other venues. There are also those who are known to be far more trustworthy and above reproach who are actually given to such a ministry, being able to be impartial and objective, yet compassionate, discerning, wise and with some hidden agenda.

    I know Friends Church does this and it works very well. So does Calvary Church, located in Orange or Irvine, CA.

    I know that Dr. Martin had used this method a couple of times. Worked very well.

    It sure does beat being silenced and told to vote with your feet.

  315. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…it is it’s own statement. Actually differentiated from the regular by-laws in the difficulty of its amending, if ever attempted.

    Michael is using the term in its broadest sense. So floss the knat out of your teeth and lets move on.

  316. Steve – it wasn’t so much yours, Alex and everyone have made a big to do that churches need to put this in their by laws. I always scratch my head.

    I say it belongs in the employee’s (hirelings’) manual – but I don’t imagine that their are any of those in some churches. 😉

  317. Steve Wright says:

    Linda, I really have no reply for someone who tells me they chose to spend 30+ years in CC and only met one caring pastor….

    Who then complains about the “vote with your feet” idea who has personally voted with her feet and refuses to join a local church body today.

    I’ve made it my policy on this blog to not engage on how to run a local church with those who refuse to attend one because of their prior experiences. Had I known what you wrote earlier @305, I never would have entered this discussion.


  318. Linda Pappas says:


    “I have seen his bylaws and they provide as much remedy as possible in free market American evangelicalism.”

    Hmmm, perhaps that’s the key right there. That is, to dish the market on American evangelicalism.

  319. We just had our quarterly congregational meeting yesterday afternoon. There is nothing at all that would stop someone in open forum from getting up and saying “the pastor is sleeping with my wife.”

    Now, it may be ruled out of order … but there is no hiding it. 🙂

  320. Michael says:


    Some individual churches may have some sort of third party mediation set up, but none I know of on a national level.

  321. Michael says:

    I’m out for the rest of the day…keep it civil.

  322. Linda Pappas says:


    That is truly what heck of a cop out. No one would or could have stayed given the factors pertaining to my leaving it. What more to make such a general statement is nothing more than speaking to those who did leave as they were being silenced and told to vote with their feet. So much for compassion and love for those who have been harmed. Huh, Steve.

    Sorry, Michael—nope, not even him

  323. victorious says:

    Driscoll may get the brand Jesus keeps His Church and refines her through the fires and trials of discipline, revealing more of Himself to those who want it.

    The impostor quit but here is one owning to the call of an under shepherd.
    This is worth reading. This man understands his ecclesiology because he holds Revelation 2 and 3 in high regard and is willing to head what is revealed and declare by the Head of

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